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
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

Ground cover under trees from Austin
November 03, 2012 - I need ground cover plants that can tolerate leaf litter and grow under oak tree shade.
view the full question and answer

Allowing oak leaves to pile up at base of tree from San Jose CA
December 26, 2010 - Greetings, Is it a good idea to allow oak leaves to pile up at the base of our California live oak? Will that cause fungus, mold and rot that hurts the tree? Thanks for your advice.
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Protecting a new patio from oak roots
September 01, 2008 - Hello, I have just formed up for a new patio. I have a Live Oak tree about 2' away from the patio. It has a trunk diameter of about 10", I believe 20-25 years old. Problem: I have 2 large roots in ...
view the full question and answer

Failure of flameleaf sumacs to produce fruit
January 09, 2013 - Our two flame leaf sumacs produce none to little fruit. Both are about 4 years old, quite large, healthy looking; flowering this year was very good, but no fruit. What keeps them from producing fruit?
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