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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 11, 2009

From: Merced, CA
Region: California
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrubs for privacy in Merced County California
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Mr. Smarty, A main road will be moving closer to our home in the next two years. A chain link fence will be put in but we would like to start planting now for privacy. We would appreciate any ideas for trees or shrubs that would provide 12 months of privacy in the Central Valley of California. Thank you for your help.


Mr. Smarty Plants found the following evergreen plants of various sizes for your fence line. These were all found to either occur in Merced County or in one or more adjacent counties according to the USDA Plants Database distribution maps.  You can see more possibilities in our California-Northern Recommended list.

Arctostaphylos patula (greenleaf manzanita) 3-6 feet tall

Carpenteria californica (tree anemone) 4-8 feet tall

Ceanothus leucodermis (chaparral whitethorn) 4-8 feet tall

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (blueblossom) 3-18 feet tall

Ceanothus velutinus (snowbrush ceanothus) 3-5 feet tall

Dendromecon rigida (tree poppy) 6 feet and taller

Heteromeles arbutifolia (toyon) 6-8 feet

Juniperus californica (California juniper) 10-15 feet tall and here are photos

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) 10-25 feet and here are photos

Umbellularia californica (California laurel) a slow grower to 40 feet

Arctostaphylos patula

Carpenteria californica

Ceanothus leucodermis

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Ceanothus velutinus

Dendromecon rigida

Heteromeles arbutifolia

Umbellularia californica



More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen for privacy screen in San Antonio
April 30, 2012 - I am looking to plant native fast-growing evergreens that will provide privacy (growing taller than our fence). We live in San Antonio and the Red Tip Photinia seems to be everywhere! I heard that t...
view the full question and answer

Mountain laurels with insect problems in Bandera, TX..
April 30, 2012 - I have 3 mountain laurels about 8 yrs old. Suddenly about 3 yrs ago worms started decimating them. This yr I got dipel dust which works great but only for two weeks. I now have small red flies and ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Philadelphus Innocence mock orange from Paris TX
June 20, 2012 - What is the best place in the garden to grow Philadelphus Innocence mock orange in Paris, Tx? Also, how long after transplanting do flowers occur? Any tips appreciated
view the full question and answer

Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
February 26, 2009 - I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they...
view the full question and answer

Did Mexican fire bush (Hamelia patens) survive winter cold?
May 05, 2010 - I have a Mexican fire bush that I planted last spring and it bloomed beautifully last summer. It browned and we cut it back to the ground. Right now it's showing no signs of life and I'm afraid it m...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center