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

Screen for utility box in Seabrook TX
February 21, 2011 - Utility box cover: Thinking of using star jasmine on a three sided fence/trellis. Each side 3 ft sq. I can send a picture. Not sure best fence style to use or way to plant. Suggestions? Need cove...
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

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

Privacy Trees for Pleasanton, CA
April 30, 2014 - I was looking for some fast growing trees for my backyard that backs up to Valley Ave in Pleasanton, Ca. The city just cut down 4 Redwoods behind me and there is so much noise from the traffic now Ca...
view the full question and answer

Tall native grasses for privacy in Central Texas
June 29, 2013 - Hi- I am looking for a grass that will grow tall and be thick for privacy. I live here in Austin east of 35. Obviously something draught tolerant would be great! Thank you!
view the full question and answer

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