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

Privacy Tree for Austin, TX
February 10, 2013 - Can you recommend a tall privacy plant similar to the Thuya Green Giant that is suitable to the Austin environment?
view the full question and answer

Native vine for privacy on metal mesh fence from Houston
March 20, 2014 - Is there a native vine that does not get top heavy in order to provide privacy from the bottom to the top on an expanded metal mesh fence? It's okay if it dies back, but prefer for it to be evergree...
view the full question and answer

Small tree with blossoms for screen in Corpus Christi, Texas
July 26, 2010 - We are looking for something to plant along a back fence for privacy but don't want it to be a bush. What might work like a crepe Myrtle in the Corpus Christi area that would blossom towards the to...
view the full question and answer

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Native vine for a privacy fence in Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - I have a vacant lot in Greenshores that has two 6' iron fences. Neighbor planted some sort of vine that grows up and along fence for privacy, white flowers when in bloom, I assume its Jasmine? On ne...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center