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

Sunday - December 14, 2008

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Living fence of native plants in Central Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to plant a living fence around my property in central Texas. What trees/plants will survive the Texas weather best without taking years to provide visual shield?

ANSWER:

The best way to find plants that will survive Texas weather is to use plants native to the area in which they are being grown. We have selected six plants native to Central Texas, all of which can be trained up to small trees or allowed to remain as shrubs, for greater privacy. All are evergreen except for Ilex decidua (possumhaw), which displays red berries all winter. Both of the members of the Ilex genus and the wax myrtle have berries only on the female plant, and must have a male of the same species within 30 to 40 feet to in order to produce berries. These plants are all moderate in growth rate, with the exception of the Mahonia, which tend to be a little slower-growing. They are all commercially available, and if you have any difficulty locating a source, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type in your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box, and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area. From right now until February would be a good time to plant these woody plants, permitting them to get their roots established before the Texas heat arrives. 

Ilex decidua (possumhaw) - deciduous, females with persistent bright red berries in winter

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - evergreen, females with bright red berries

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry) 3 to 4 ft. tall, evergreen

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) - 3 to 6 ft. tall, evergreen

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) - 8 to 12 ft. tall, evergreen

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - 6 to 12 ft. tall, evergreen, fragrant foliage, attractive to birds


Ilex decidua

Ilex decidua

Ilex vomitoria

Mahonia swaseyi

Mahonia trifoliolata

Rhus virens

Morella cerifera

Morella cerifera

 

 

More Trees Questions

Growth rate of Thuja occidentalis
January 31, 2011 - What is the growth rate of thuja occidentalis? I have found web sites and books claiming slow to fast.
view the full question and answer

Juniperus virginiana and some pines for Florida
July 11, 2007 - I live in Pensacola, FL (Northwest Florida, practically lower-coastal Alabama) and I am looking for a medium size tree that will cast shade on my home. The house faces due west and it gets extremely h...
view the full question and answer

Trimming back freeze damage from Anacacho orchid in Liberty Hill TX
May 17, 2010 - When is it safe to trim back what I think is dead wood on my Anacacho orchid trees (that were hit hard this past winter)? Is there any harm done if I cut back living wood?
view the full question and answer

Recently planted Monterey Oaks doing poorly in Jourdanton, TX.
September 02, 2013 - We planted 2 nice size Monterrey oak trees in April .they were doing good with new growth on them. But now I have been noticing the leaves are turning brown around the edges. We water about once a wee...
view the full question and answer

Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
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