Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Wednesday - September 10, 2008

From: Wynnewood, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Evergreen for privacy in Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant a tall, thin evergreen in my yard (the taller and thinner the better). Privacy is a goal, so we're looking for dense branches. The area gets full sun, and the soil in this area is rich in clay. A Norway Spruce previously grew in this spot. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Here are four possibilities.  Although they are all tall naturally, you might prefer a tree that is a bit smaller than these.  In that case there are various shorter cultivars of each and with various modified shapes.

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) is a columnar tree, and although it can reach 75 feet, there are various cultivars that are shorter.  Prefers part shade.

Picea pungens (blue spruce) can grow to 100 feet, but again there are various smaller cultivars.  Prefers part shade.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) grows 30 to 50 feet tall with various cultivars of shorter, slenderer forms.  Grows in sun, part shade, and shade.

Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock) can reach 100 feet, but shorter cultivars exist.  Prefers part shade or shade.


Chamaecyparis thyoides

Picea pungens

Thuja occidentalis

Tsuga canadensis

 

 

More Trees Questions

Looking for a tree to plant as a memorial in Leesburg, GA.
September 09, 2010 - I'm looking for tree to plant as memorial to my brother who died. It must be native, for South Georgia, zone 8, open fields. It should provide mast for wildlife. Heat zone 8, good drought-tolerance. ...
view the full question and answer

Pecan leaves falling off the trees in Austin, TX.
August 08, 2012 - Why are the pecan tree leaves turning black, sappy and falling off the trees, in great quantities? This has happened since the recent rains, all through the Allandale area.
view the full question and answer

Need an inexpensive blooming tree in Venus, TX
May 02, 2015 - I need a non expensive booming tree for our yard.
view the full question and answer

Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
January 12, 2013 - Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on th...
view the full question and answer

Dirt around bald cypress in Lakeland FL
October 03, 2009 - Dirt around trunk of cypress.. Our tree is a Bald Cypress. We dug a hole to install a jacuzzi and put the dirt/clay around the trunk of the cypress to level the area out. I also laid several flag s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.