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Sunday - March 15, 2009

From: Cleburne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Screening plant for pool in Cleburne, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I recently put in a very large pool. I need to plant something for fast growing, taller than an 6 ft fence for privacy. The property isn't so appealing behind my pool. When standing on my deck, I have a 6 ft privacy fence, but my deck is built up so, people going to the diving board can look over at the next doors UGLY BURNED DOWN HALF STANDING BARN. Is there anything I can plant that will completely block this view? I was thinking baboo? The area needed to be blocked is about 50 yards in length. I will be planting this in front of a redwood fence 50 ft in length. If you can think of anything that I can plant, please let me know...


Our focus and expertise are in plants native to North America. The only bamboo native to North America is Arundinaria gigantea (canebreak bamboo) and there are two subspecies Arundinaria gigantea ssp. gigantea and Arundinaria gigantea ssp. tecta.  The A. gigantea ssp. tecta is the shorter of the two, growing only to about 8 feet tall; whereas, the A. gigantea ssp. gigantea can grow up to 30 feet tall.  This giant cane or canebrake bamboo does require lots of water so that might be a factor in your decision to plant it.  Also, bamboos can be invasive since they spread quickly by rhizomes (underground stems). You certainly would want to consider installing a barrier to keep it from spreading out of control.

Assuming you want an evergreen plant for screening year round, here are three other possibilities: 

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) can grow into a tall tree (>40 feet), but it can be an effective dense screen if you plant them close together and keep them pruned.  They also have berries that attract birds.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) grows 15-25 feet high and female plants produce red berries that attract birds.

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle) is an evergreen vine, but if you wanted to extend your fence upwards by a couple of feet with a trellis, trumpet honeysuckle growing on it would make a good screen.  It attracts hummingbirds and butterflies.

Juniperus virginiana

Juniperus virginiana

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex vomitoria

Lonicera sempervirens

Lonicera sempervirens





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