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Mr. Smarty Plants - Living fence of native plants in Central Texas

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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

 

 

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