Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Screen Tree for Lockhart, TX.
March 30, 2015 - What is a good screening tree for a ranch in the Lockhart area that won't get much water.
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant privacy plants for Flagstaff AZ
March 19, 2013 - We need a fast growing drought tolerant tree that will grow in Flagstaff AZ/Parks AZ. Neighbors are hoarders and we want privacy fence to cover the mess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Need native plants for wind block and screening along a fence row in Commerce, TX
June 04, 2011 - I'm looking for a small tree or lg shrub for wind block & screening along a fence row. The soil is black clay with a mostly full sun exposure. Landscaper suggested Elaeagnus but I want a nat...
view the full question and answer

Boundary plants to control cats
June 06, 2006 - Is there a plant especially ANNOYING to cats that I could plant along my fence line to keep him away from the street beyond? It would have to be hardy enough for hot temps & full sun. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.