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?


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

Wednesday - January 07, 2009

From: Winnsboro, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge for East Texas
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I need suggestions for a native shrub/bush as a privacy hedge for East Texas conditions. Thank you.


We've had several inquiries lately regarding privacy hedges, and Mr. Smarty Plants is pleased that people are chosing this landscaping option. Although slower than building a fence, the outcome is more aesthetically pleasing, and the potential of attracting birds and other wildlife is worth the wait. Mr. Smarty Plants will give you a few suggestions, and tell you how you can search our database to come up with a list of your own.

Wax myrtle, Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) an evergreen shrub growing 6-12" ft. tall. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database

Yaupon, Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) a picturesque, evergreen shrub growing 12-25 ft tall. Female plants produce an abundance of red berries. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database

Possum Haw, Ilex decidua (possumhaw) is a small deciduous tree growing 15-30 feet tall. The leaves remain dark green through the fall, finally turing yellow before they drop. Female trees produce red berries that persist through the winter. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database.

Fragrant Sumac, Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac) is a small to medium-size, deciduous shrub with aromatic foliage. It can grow 6-12 ft. tall, and produces dark red berries that can persist into March. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database.

Smooth Sumac, Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) is a colony forming shrub that can grow 10-20 ft. tall. Female plants produce red berries in erect clusters that persist through the winter. See more at Aggie Horticulture Database.

For a plant that will form a denser hedge, you might consider Eastern Red Cedar Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar). There are dwarf varieties available that could fit your situation. Contact UConn Plant Database or North Carolina State University

For more information about East Texas shrubs, go to our website and select Recommended Species. Click on east Texas on the map, and you will get a list of 133 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in East Texas. If you chose the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and chose Shrub in the "Habit"window, your plant list shrinks to 23 shrubs suitable for East Texas. Clicking on any name on the list will take you to the NATIVE PLANT DATABASE page for that plant. There you can learn characteristics of the plant, such as habitat, size, growing conditions, benefits, etc. The ADDITIONAL RESOURCES box toward the bottom of the page can link you to further informatiion sources on Google. Visit our Suppliers Directory for help in locating nurseries theat sell the plants you chose for your hedge.

For help closer to home you might contact the Wood County Master Gardeners.

Morella cerifera


Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Rhus aromatica

Rhus glabra




More Privacy Screening Questions

Plant for privacy hedge in Oklahoma that is not poisonous to dogs
April 01, 2012 - Hello! I am looking to put a privacy hedge fence in my yard. I love the look of American Holly, however, I have a dog who eats everything so I worry that this will not be a wise choice with the b...
view the full question and answer

Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen for privacy screen
May 15, 2008 - I want to incorporate a tree in my landscaping near my house (10-15 feet) for privacy, what are the best trees that don't shed their leaves and have nice flowers and their roots wont destroy my found...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a windbreak on a slope in OH
April 20, 2011 - Have property at the top of a valley with a steep drop off. Would like to know native to NE Ohio ground covers, grasses perennials, and not too tall trees for windbreak that will prevent erosion. The ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy shield in Austin
May 19, 2010 - We are looking for a tall hedge on the lot line between us and our neighbors. Thinking Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) would be a good choice. Question: how close should we plant them tog...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center