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 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

Screen for highway noise in Conroe, Texas
March 18, 2010 - I have 120' of fence line which backs up to a busy highway, and now there are plans to widen it to four lanes. Is there a native tree or shrub which could help dampen the noise and block out the view...
view the full question and answer

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
view the full question and answer

Small evergreen shrubs for part shade in Texas
January 31, 2015 - Mr. Smarty Pants, I'm, for some reason, at odds with myself about a shrub decision. I have need about 8 ft of hedge-like evergreen shrub(s) that I can maintain around 4ft to go under a window. It...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for Michigan
June 15, 2009 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I need help. Can you please suggest some (preferably evergreen) shrubs and trees that will thrive in our backyard that will provide us some privacy from our neighbors (about ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for cold resistant, hardy hedge plant in Jonathan, NC.
June 28, 2011 - I'm looking for a Full sun, cold resistant, hardy, non-invasive plant to be used for a property line hedge for North Carolina. Preferably NOT slow growing. What can you suggest?
view the full question and answer

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