En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
143 ratings

Monday - June 16, 2008

From: Frisco, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Screening plant for pool
Answered by: Nan Hampton


i am building a pool i have a neighbor whom im trying to shield out of seeing us. i would like to plant an evergreen tree the pool will be used year round. i need an evergreen that wont have an over taking root system.i have about 3 feet to work with. can you help?


Here are several native shrubs/small trees that are evergreen:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) There are dwarf varieties of these, so be sure you are getting a full size one.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

The following can be a large tree, but can be kept pruned into a shrub-sized evergreen: Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

This next one is not really a shrub or tree, but is evergreen and grows to 10 feet and could be a very effective screen in your small area: Sabal minor (dwarf palmetto)

Finally, if you have a fence around your pool, you might consider planting Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) along it. It is evergreen, has beautiful red blossoms that attract hummingbirds and would soon cover your fence and be an excellent screen.

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Juniperus virginiana

Sabal minor

Lonicera sempervirens



More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy Screening of House Next Door in NC
June 26, 2013 - Hello, I live in the house my parents bought in 1971 in Winston-Salem, NC. The house beside me is an eyesore and for sale at a very low price. I am afraid the condition of the house and yard next door...
view the full question and answer

Native Texas shrub for privacy screen in hot area
August 31, 2007 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a lot facing dead west which I'm sure you can understand is brutally hot in the summer. I'm putting in a pool in my backyard and would like to plant a native Texas...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Shade Trees for Flagstaff AZ
June 14, 2015 - I live in Flagstaff, AZ and in need of good shade trees all around the house. We live in the Doney Park area (east of Flagstaff) and it is very windy in the spring time. We need the trees for priva...
view the full question and answer

Folsom CA Wall-cover
April 13, 2012 - I live in Folsom, CA and I have an ugly cinder block wall that I want to cover, I want something that is low maintenance and that is going to grow and spread into my grass. The only one i can really t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center