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?

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
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

Saturday - March 28, 2009

From: Anchorage, AK
Region: Northwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Screening plants for Alaska
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Just purchased a house and want more privacy along the fence lines. Which plants would work well in the cold environment but provide privacy without taking over the yard.

ANSWER:

Since you want a privacy screen, it would be very nice to have some evergreen choices. However, since most of the evergreens in your area are either ground-hugging or grow to be very large trees, I can really recommend only one, Picea mariana (black spruce).  Here are photos.  It might be possible to use Cupressus nootkatensis (Alaska cedar) even though it can reach 80 feet since it is a very slow-growing tree. Here are photos.

You have many more choices for deciduous native shrubs/small trees that should work well as a privacy screen along your fence.  The ones listed below all occur in the general area of Anchorage:

Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood)

Crataegus douglasii (black hawthorn) and here are photos

Elaeagnus commutata (silverberry)

Rosa acicularis (prickly rose)

Rosa nutkana (Nootka rose)

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus (grayleaf red raspberry)

Rubus spectabilis (salmonberry)

Salix bebbiana (Bebb willow)

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa (red elderberry)

Shepherdia canadensis (russet buffaloberry)


Cornus sericea

Elaeagnus commutata

Rosa acicularis

Rosa nutkana

Rubus idaeus ssp. strigosus

Rubus spectabilis

Salix bebbiana

Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa

Shepherdia canadensis

 

 


 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Privacy shrubs and trees that are safe for horses in California
June 16, 2012 - What type of privacy shrubs/trees can I plant that are safe around horses? I live in the central valley in CA. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Screening plants for edge of pond in Illinois
December 16, 2008 - I have a backyard pond that I am restoring, adding aeration, plants, etc. Unfortunately, there is a farmer that stores old equipment on the shore of my pond and refuses to move it. It is an eyesore....
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge, thick, fast-growing in Georgetown TX
August 31, 2010 - I want to plant a privacy hedge in Austin Texas Edwards escarpment so it's rocky soil. Looking for something thick, fast growing and can be kept to 7'. It's along a wrought iron fence and ranges fr...
view the full question and answer

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center