Explore Plants

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
    
 

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


Southern magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora

More Shrubs Questions

Drought Tolerant Shrubs and Perennials in San Jose, CA
July 18, 2013 - Hello I am a SLT home owner in San Jose, Ca. and want to plant drought tolerant shrubs and perennials. We don't have irrigation but plan to put a timer on a nozzle and run some lines. At least I am t...
view the full question and answer

Moving a volunteer holly from Springfield IL
October 11, 2010 - When would be the very best time to move a volunteer holly? I would say it is 3 years old, it stands about 5 feet tall, shaped like a very nice tree and it keeps its leaves. Thank you. Karen
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a garden in Panama City, FL
May 10, 2013 - I live in zone 9 in Florida. We are looking for plants which will be attractive all year long for the front of our house's landscaping which faces north. I need a specimen bush which doesn't get ov...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
September 01, 2009 - I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.
view the full question and answer

Erosion Control for a NC Clay Slope
June 06, 2013 - Hi, We have a large slope on the road edge of our property that has been gradually eroding with spring rains (NC red clay). We would really like to plant something for erosion control but the bank is...
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.