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

Wednesday - May 13, 2009

From: Santa Rosa, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for Santa Rosa CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a very fast growing privacy hedge/screen, 15-20 ft., requires not much pruning. I want an evergreen with not a lot of mess. The area gets full sun and after the plant is established, it will get minimum water.

ANSWER:

Fast growing, minimum water, evergreen, low maintenance, tidy, 15 to 20 ft. tall; boy, wouldn't we all like to find that? In California, we can probably find some evergreen plants, but they may not get up to 15 to 20 ft. We have observed that fast-growing trees and shrubs tend to have weak wood, to break down, and are short-lived. And, at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we only recommend plants that are not only native to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, so you're not going to hear anything from us about "instant privacy," "shade in a year," or any of those other claims. Just the facts, ma'am.

After going to our Recommended Species section, clicking on Northern California, and searching on first shrubs and then trees for some plants that will meet at least some of your specifications, we found exactly one shrub and two trees that even came close.You can use the same technique to go back to our Native Plant Database and find others that might work for you. Follow the plant link to the webpage for each individual plant, read all the information, and follow the Google link at the bottom of the page for even more information. You did not specify if you needed plants for shade or sun, so we will be looking at plants that have low to medium water usage, and let you know what light requirements each one has.

Shrub for Northern California

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) - evergreen, 15 to 20 ft. tall, blooms white June to September, sun, part shade or shade. low water use. Pictures

Trees for Northern California

Juniperus occidentalis (western juniper) - evergreen, 15 to 50 ft., low water use, sun. Pictures and more information

Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine) - evergreen, 20 to 30 ft., medium water use, sun. Pictures and more information


Heteromeles arbutifolia

Pinus contorta

 

 

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Trees with non-invasive roots or tops in Newhall CA
November 07, 2011 - We would like to plant a tree with noninvasive roots near our garden wall and concrete driveway in a grassy area in the front yard facing west. This spot is very sunny in the afternoon with automatic ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen pet-safe shrubs for house and screening in McKinney TX
April 15, 2010 - Looking for shrub, preferably evergreen, to plant near the house that can handle wet ground and is pet (dog, cat, horse) safe. The area became boggy after we had an underground water leak that is now ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen for a pecan orchard in Chappell Hill, TX.
September 21, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My family has just begun converting our land in Chappell Hill, TX (Washington County) into a pecan orchard. We had to clear a lot of the overgrowth around the edge of the proper...
view the full question and answer

Impenetrable privacy hedge in Wimberly, TX.
July 26, 2011 - I live near Wimberly, TX. I'd like to grow an impenetrable privacy hedge about 200' long and at least 10' tall and 10' deep (or more) using native plants. I'd like it to be evergreen, drought t...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreens for privacy in Crockett, TX
October 12, 2008 - I need advice on what tall evergreens I can plant along a fence line for privacy. I need trees that will be at minimum 8 to 10 feet tall at maturity, are aesthetically pleasing and provide privacy. ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center