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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - August 25, 2008

From: Sheboygan, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Hedge for steep slope by sidewalk in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I have a fairly steep slope from the sidewalk to my yard. The space is about 48" high, 30" deep and 120' long. I was thinking that a boxwood hedge would fill that space nicely but no one else around here has done that and I don't know why. I would like th hedge to be at least up to the level of the yard and perhaps 3-4 feet higher. Does this make sense or are there better options?


Here are four shrubs that should fit into your area and look good as a hedge.

Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood) with more photos and information

Cornus racemosa (gray dogwood) with more photos and information

Physocarpus opulifolius (common ninebark) with more photos and information

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry) with more photos and information

You can see other possibilities by visiting our Recommended Species page and clicking on Wisconsin on the map. This will give you a list of over 170 native plants suitable for landscaping in Wisconsin that are commercially available. You can then use the Narrow Your Search option and select 'Shrub' from the "Habit (general appearance) category" to reduce your list to 29 species.

Cornus sericea

Cornus racemosa

Physocarpus opulifolius

Amelanchier arborea



More Trees Questions

Mexican oak and red oak not looking healthy
August 02, 2014 - I purchased a Mexican oak tree and I believe a red oak tree from your center about 1 year ago. Recently I've noticed that they don't look as healthy as they have been, and I just looked at the leave...
view the full question and answer

Small Yard Tree for Washington DC
July 20, 2012 - What do you suggest for a tree or shrub in my front yard? The yard is small; 9 ft x 12 ft. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Tree near a patio in Tennessee
January 02, 2009 - What type of tree would you plant near a patio (new home and yard) that gets afternoon sun? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Should a tree near a water well be transplanted?
July 31, 2013 - I have a water well and have about a 6 yr live oak planted in close proximity to it( about 10 feet). Would it be wise enough to transplant the tree while its this young or leave it alone. Also I need ...
view the full question and answer

Medium-sized trees for Central Texas
October 25, 2013 - I need some help figuring out what 2 trees to plant to replace 2 trees that are being taken down on Monday. The input we've received from the company doing the tree cleanup is to go with a chinkapi...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center