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Mr. Smarty Plants - Planting native yaupons on fence line for privacy

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Saturday - July 26, 2008

From: Hempstead, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Planting native yaupons on fence line for privacy
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in the country and someone bought the place next door and is building a house close to me.(150 yards) I want to plant yaupon trees on my fence line. Can I get seeds somewhere? I have yaupons all in my region. Some do not have berries, and that is what I want. Do you think I should buy very small ones and plant?

ANSWER:

You are correct that the Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) is native to your area and appropriate for planting there for a privacy screen. Let's start with the berries: Nursery plants are typically female (fruiting) and are propagated by cuttings. You must have both a male and female plant to have berries. The male must be the same species as the female and bloom at the same time. So, if you don't want berries, you want only male trees. You can harvest seeds (from the fruit) of yaupon bushes, but, again, you're going to get some males and some females in there and then the females will have berries. Since the plants in nurseries are normally female, you may need to contact some nurseries and find out if they have any male plants to sell. Propagation by cutting or planting from seeds will both take a long time. The yaupon is slow-growing and tends to get thick and twiggy on the inside. Even if you bought only females from the nursery, there are bound to be "wild" males around that will pollinate those females and, again, you get berries. Either way you go, you're not going to get an instant privacy shield.

Some other possibilities for your privacy hedge:

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood) - deciduous, but really a neat shrub or small tree

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - blooms purple-blue or pink, supposedly when it is about to rain, evergreen.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

When you follow these links to our Native Plant Database, you will find propagation instructions for each close to the bottom of the page, as well as descriptions, expected maximum size, etc. If you are interested in purchasing seeds or small plants, you can go to our Suppliers directory, type in the name of your town and state in the Enter Search Location and you will get a list of nurseries, seed companies and landscape professionals in your general area.


Ilex vomitoria

Eysenhardtia texana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Rhus virens

 

 

 

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