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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 01, 2009

From: Volente, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen tree for privacy screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live out in the hill country in Volente, TX. I'm looking for a fast growing, native evergreen tree variety that would make a good privacy screen. I don't want a hedge, but I do want to replace a bunch of Cedar trees that providing a screen now. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

For an evergreen native tree that acts as a privacy screen, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't think you could do much better than Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper).   You can prune and trim them to any shape you want if they have gotten too large.  If you have male trees that are producing lots of pollen, then remove those and leave the female trees with their berries for the birds.  But, you may just not like our native juniper and that is why you are removing them.  Fair enough—there are other choices!  You didn't say exactly how tall of a tree you wanted, but here are some suggestions and their maximum heights:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) 12-25 feet.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) 8-12 feet.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) up to 8 feet.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) 6-12 feet, generally, but can reach 20 feet.

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) 15-20 feet and here are more photos.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) up to 30 feet.

There are always the live oaks, Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak) at 20-40 feet or a different juniper, Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) at 30-40 feet, usually, but can reach 90 feet.


Juniperus ashei

Ilex vomitoria

Rhus virens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Prunus caroliniana

Sophora secundiflora

Quercus fusiformis

Juniperus virginiana

 

 

 

 

 

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