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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Monday - July 27, 2009

From: Redding, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Drought Tolerant, Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will survive the 100 degree heat of Redding? We want some sort of evergreen. Thanks.

ANSWER:

First of all, congratulations on removing the bamboo. It is a non-native invasive, fast growing and difficult to get rid of. You won't be able to replace it with something that grows as fast or gets as tall quickly, but on the other hand, we don't recommend invasive plants.

Since you didn't tell us what sun exposure you were looking for, we have just put the sun needs on the description of each plant. We consider full sun to be 6 or more hours of sun a day, part shade, 2 to 6 hours of sun, and shade, 2 hours or less. You will need to follow the plant links to the page on each individual plant to read a complete description.

If you want to do some searching on your own, go to our Recommended Species section, click on Northern California on the map, and in the right hand column of that page, select on Light Requirements, or perhaps "tree" instead of "shrub" under General Appearance, and so forth. Also, at the bottom of the individual plant page, there is a link to Google on that plant that will give you an opportunity to find out still more. We have checked with the USDA Plant Profile on each plant we selected to assure that it is native to Shasta County and therefore should be able to withstand whatever conditions your garden would normally experience. 

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita) - 6 to 12 ft., evergreen, blooms pink April to June, sun or part shade, slow grower, does not transplant well

Ceanothus velutinus (snowbrush ceanothus) - 3 to 9 ft., evergreen, blooms white April to August, sun, part shade or shade

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy) - 6 to 12 ft., evergreen, blooms yellow April to June, sun

Fremontodendron californicum (California flannelbush) - 5 to 10 ft., evergreen, blooms yellow May to June, part shade

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) - 6 to 8 ft., evergreen, blooms white June to September, sun, part shade or shade

Juniperus californica (California juniper) - 10 to 15 ft., sun, more information and pictures

 

From the Image Gallery


Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

Snowbrush
Ceanothus velutinus

Tree poppy
Dendromecon rigida

California flannelbush
Fremontodendron californicum

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

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