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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - June 15, 2009

From: Farmington Hills, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen screen for Michigan
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I need help. Can you please suggest some (preferably evergreen) shrubs and trees that will thrive in our backyard that will provide us some privacy from our neighbors (about 100 feet behind us, and they never close their curtains). Our backyard is full shade because of a heavy canopy the wooded lot provides. Is there anything that can provide us with a border with some height? Thanks for your help.

ANSWER:

The native evergreen choices for Michigan can all grow to be rather tall trees in their native habit (30 to over 100 feet), but if you will check the links below you will find descriptions of cultivars for each species that grow to a more modest height and with shapes that give more screening.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) has several varieties or cultivars to choose from.

Pinus strobus (eastern white pine) has several varieties or cultivars to choose from.

Picea glauca (white spruce) has several varieties or cultivars to choose from.

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) has several varieties or cultivars to choose from.

If you would like to consider deciduous species, you can check our Recommended Species page and select Michigan from the map or pull-down menu.  You can then limit your list by any of several criteria by using the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option.  For instance, you could select 'Shrub' from the General Appearance category.  This will give you a list of more than 25 species of native shrubs that are commercially available for landscaping in Michigan.


Juniperus virginiana

Pinus strobus

Thuja occidentalis

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs for a privacy screen in Glendale CA
October 30, 2014 - Dear. Mr. Smarty Plants I need to grow a tall hedge 15-20 feet minimum to block a condo complex which overlooks my back yard. I need a fast growing hedge which is non toxic to dogs and one which roo...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
April 07, 2010 - I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
view the full question and answer

Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
April 14, 2013 - Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.
view the full question and answer

Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
March 14, 2009 - I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that att...
view the full question and answer

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