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

Space between trees from Blythewood SC
April 05, 2013 - I'm planting 4 green giants in a back corner of my yard. I also have a kumquat tree to plant. I have somewhat limited space. What is the minimum spacing between the four green giants and the green gi...
view the full question and answer

Living fence line from Thomasville GA
November 04, 2012 - I would like to create a natural fence line on my property in South Georgia. They need to be pretty dense and horse, cow, goat friendly, growing to a height of about 4ft, preferably quickly! Do you ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Esperanza in Abilene TX
November 03, 2012 - I have 3 beautiful Gold Star Esperanzas that are too large and need to be transplanted. How can I do this and what time of year. They are five years old and always return in the spring.
view the full question and answer

plants for a rain garden's moist area in Central Texas
January 15, 2015 - I am looking for local natives to plant in the wet portion of a rain garden/bioswale. Can you help, please?
view the full question and answer

Groundcover for a Sunny, Steep Slope in Maryland
April 29, 2013 - I need a groundcover for a sunny dry steep slope in Towson, Maryland. The slope goes from the parking lot down to a deck area.
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center