En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Evergreens to replace a screening line of pine trees

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
3 ratings

Tuesday - December 02, 2008

From: Wallingford, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreens to replace a screening line of pine trees
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smartyplants, I lost a "screening" line of pines along my back property line to powerline trimmers & a blight. The area is quite damp & the soil full of clay which is now acidic from the grinding of the pines. I want a mixed screen of natives to attract wildlife. I have been researching natives for quite awhile & have planted 2 birch, 3 viburnum, a red maple & a crabapple. I really need ideas for evergreens for screening & winter interest, but also plants for color all year. I'm having the most trouble with the evergreens as my husband doesn't want arbovite & there is the powerline issue. Help! Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you are off to a good start, however, your crab apple may not like the soil acidity.

I've put together a short list of possibilities that you might consider. Four of these are flowering plants, and the rest are conifers.

Inkberry  Ilex glabra (inkberry); this is a mound-shaped shrub growing 6 to 12 feet tall. It produces black berries that persit through winter. May be toxic if ingested.

Great Laurel  Rhododendron maximum (great laurel);  this is an evergreen, thicket forming shrub that grows 4 to 15 feet tall. It has white blossoms and the largest leaves of all the native Rhododendrons.  The plants contain poisonous substances that should not be ingested by humans or animals.

Eastern Teaberry Gaultheria procumbens (eastern teaberry); this is a low, woody ground cover that can grow up to three feet. Deer and smaller animals eat the leaves in winter, and the berries attract birds.

Candleberry Morella pensylvanica (northern bayberry); this is a spreading, much branched shrub, 3-12 feet tall. It attracts birds and butterflies.

Atlantic White Cedar Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar); this is a conifer with blue-green scale-like leaves on twigs. It can grow 40-75 feet tall in the wild, however there are shorter cultivars available.

Blue Spruce Picea pungens (blue spruce); naturally conical in shape, this conifer can grow up to 100 feet in the wild, but there are shorter cultivars available.

Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar); this conifer posseses fragrant gray-green to blue-green to light or dark-green scale-like leaves, and can grow 30 - 40 feet tall. There are shorter cultivars available.

Another source of information that is closer to home is your Delaware County Extension Director at the Penn State Cooperative Extension.

To find suppliers for these plants, click this link which will bring up the National Suppliers Directory. Type in your city and stqte in the appropriate box and this will give you a list of plant nurseries in your locale.

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Eastern teaberry
Gaultheria procumbens

Northern bayberry
Morella pensylvanica

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Northern bayberry
Morella pensylvanica

Blue spruce
Picea pungens

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

More Privacy Screening Questions

Trees with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
November 07, 2011 - We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
July 27, 2009 - We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will surviv...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Tree for Austin, TX
February 10, 2013 - Can you recommend a tall privacy plant similar to the Thuya Green Giant that is suitable to the Austin environment?
view the full question and answer

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center