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
1 rating

Monday - June 01, 2009

From: Valparaiso, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Deer resistant, fast growing trees for screening
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Deer resistant, fast growing, native plants (trees) as a visual block.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants assumes you want some recommendations for the description above?  So, there are a couple of ways to approach this problem.  First, we could go to our Recommended Species page where we find a link to "Deer Resistant - Native Plants That Deer Tend to Avoid" under SPECIAL COLLECTIONS.  This is a list of more than 340 native species that are deer resistant.  We can limit that list by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and choosing 'Indiana' from the Select State or Province option and 'Tree' from General Appearance.  This narrows us down to 9 species:

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) 

Celtis laevigata (sugarberry)

Crataegus viridis (green hawthorn)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood)

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

The deer resistant plant list above doesn't contain all native tree species that occur in Indiana so we can take another approach by doing a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database and choosing Indiana from the Select State or Province option and then 'Tree' from Habit (general appearance).  This will give a list of more than 173 trees that are native to Indiana. Next we need to come up with a list of deer resistant trees native to Indiana.  There is a list on pp.14-15 of the USDA Wildlife Conflicts Information for Indiana.  Not all the plants on this list are native to Indiana, but by comparing the list to our COMBINATION SEARCH list we can find which ones are.  The trees on this list are ranked:

RARELY DAMAGED:

Betula papyrifera (paper birch)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

SELDOM SEVERELY DAMAGED:

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Cornus sericea (redosier dogwood)

Gleditsia triacanthos (honeylocust)

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel)

Pinus resinosa (red pine)

Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

To help you make a choice from the trees of these lists you will need to compare the GROWING CONDITIONS shown on their pages to that of your site.

Finally, you need to realize that even plants that are labeled "highly resistant" to deer are sometimes eaten by deer when environmental conditions have made their preferred food difficult to find.

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs/trees for screen
August 07, 2008 - I need several trees/tall shrubs for a screen well away from the house. The important height range is in the 4-7' range for effective screening. Soil is caliche rich but can be amended, sun will be...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreen shrub/tree as a screening fence
January 25, 2008 - Our commercially-zoned property is adjacent to a residential area. The city planning and zoning board has said okay to a vegetation boundary instead of a fence for blocking headlights. The requireme...
view the full question and answer

Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
August 20, 2011 - Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the drivewa...
view the full question and answer

Large shrubs for privacy screen in VA
October 12, 2010 - Tonight my husband and I took down two large shrubs about 15' tall and spread across our yard to provide mostly privacy from the road and traffic noise. My question is this, since it's the front of ...
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