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?

Share

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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 20, 2008

From: Ellaville , GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrubs as dust barrier in Georgia
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I live on a dirt road in West Central Georgia. Could you recommend a fast growing, low maintenance evergreen shrub or small tree (that will not harm my horses or goats) that will form a barrier to block the dust from the dirt road? I have about 15 feet of space between the fence and the road.

ANSWER:

The dual needs of being evergreen and being non-toxic to horses and goats limited the choice pretty sharply. We found two shrubs that filled these requirements and one tree that could be left untrimmed at the base to help with the dust shelter. We have chosen plants native to Georgia, because they will be well-adapted to the environment, requiring less water, fertilizer and maintenance.

Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay)  

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia)

None of these plants appeared on the following poisonous plant databases:

Poisonous Plants of Georgia

Cornell University Poisonous Plants Informational Database

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants Database

Texas Toxic Plants Database

One more caution on the plants you are considering. It sounds like they will be out in the country, probably without access to watering. Don't try to plant them until late Winter, when woody plants are most dormant. Even then, the new little plants are going to need some water and some attention. Hopefully, it will be rainy in Georgia then, and you won't have to make special arrangements; however, have alternative plans in place in case you hit a dry Winter.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gordonia
Gordonia lasianthus

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Southern magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora

More Shrubs Questions

Plants for a Austin thicket underlayer
July 25, 2014 - We live in Austin, west of 183. We are planning to put a thicket in our backyard, where there is no threat of deer. Anchoring the thicket are a clump of live oaks, a Texas persimmon, an Eve's Necklac...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native Senna bicapsularis from Ocean Springs MS
April 04, 2013 - I have 4 Senna plants (cassia bicapsularis) that I planted late last spring. They about 3-4 feet tall but are very gangly with leaves at or near the tips only. How should I prune them to encourage g...
view the full question and answer

Shade loving plants with color for Irving, Texas
July 01, 2010 - Looking for shade loving perennials or annuals with color - native and low water. Live in Irving, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Dwarf foundation plants for St. Augustine FL
May 03, 2010 - Need to put in fast, low growing (3' max) foundation plants that would be frost hardy and work well in the St. Augustine area of Northeast Florida.
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs for adobe soil in Penngrove CA
June 19, 2010 - Hi, I'd like to find a list of trees that are native, drought tolerant and suitable to the adobe soil in Penngrove. We will be landscaping a bare .5 acre parcel starting later this fall. Another fea...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center