En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - March 14, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that attracts birds and/or butterflies, but I don't want anything that drops a lot of berries or other mess. The yard is covered by several big oak trees, so these would be in partial shade. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

My guess is that you would like an evergreen and all of the following are evergreens that are found in or near Bexar County.

Condalia hookeri (Brazilian bluewood) a small evergreen tree.  Here is more information from Texas A&M Horticulture, more photos and still more info and photos.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle). There are dwarf varieties of this shrub for sale.  You should be certain that you are getting ones that aren't the dwarf variety.

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony).  You may or may not have enough sun for this one to do well, but it does make a very effective hedge.  Here is  more information and still more from University of Arizona.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) has red fruits that attract birds and are not messy.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) has beautiful spring blossoms.

You could also use Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar).  It is a tree, but can be pruned to form a hedge.


Condalia hookeri

Morella cerifera

Ebenopsis ebano

Ilex vomitoria

Sophora secundiflora

Juniperus virginiana

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need trees to screen view of parking garage in Houston, TX.
December 29, 2011 - We live in Houston, TX with a beautiful lot except a 4 story parking garage has been built behind us. How can we screen this and the lights out of site. It looks terrible from the second story espec...
view the full question and answer

Vine for Chain Link Fence in Virginia
March 25, 2015 - I am from Great Falls, Virginia. I would like to know what the best vine is to grow on aluminum fences to cover them up quickly but also doesn't damage expensive fences in a long term?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
March 31, 2010 - Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, non-allergenic plants for privacy fence
March 15, 2012 - I'm looking to put in some plants to create a privacy fence against one side of my property. I'd like a mix of plants that grow well together in order to create a diverse look. I need something ever...
view the full question and answer

Screening Planter Recommendations for Lakeway TX
May 16, 2012 - I live in Lakeway in a townhome. The parking lot is directly in front of my unit so I always see headlights and cars. The HOA has agreed to build a planter about 4 feet high to help hide the cars. W...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center