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
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

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

Need a shrub to conceal a privacy fence in Knightdale, NC.
August 03, 2011 - Could you recommend a medium-sized shrub/bush (max height of 6-7 feet) to plant along a privacy fence (purpose is to conceal the fence from the street view per HOA)? I live in Zone 8.
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen and windbreak plants
June 14, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I am searching for ideal plants to provide a privacy screen and windbreak for the north side of my yard. I live in Pflugerville..the soil seems mostly caliche but hits limest...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for screen behind a waterfall
July 25, 2010 - I want to plant 3 evergreen trees as a screen behind a waterfall and along a fence by my pool. We took down a wax myrtle due to winter/ice damage and the mess in the pool. I want male yaupon hollies...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for shrubs for a screening barrier along a fence line in Austin, TX.
July 24, 2009 - Hi! I am new to Austin and I live in a town home community that backs up to an existing neighborhood. There is no screening on my fenceline, which is only about 30 feet from my back porch! I also ha...
view the full question and answer

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