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

Friday - January 15, 2010

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in west Fort Worth. The soil is rocky with a lot of clay.

ANSWER:

Disease resistant, minimal care, fast growing, 16 foot hedge for rocky clay soil? Now that is a tall order, but it can be done though you may want to compromise on some of your preferences. In terms of hardiness, if you stick with native plants you should have few problems. You may want an evergreen species so privacy continues through the winter months, but I have listed a few deciduous ones that meet most other desired characterisics. All are in the 12-36 foot class and require full sun, unless otherwise noted.

Evergreen species:

Citharexylum berlandieri (Berlandier's fiddlewood) fast growing, hardy

Ebenopsis ebano (Texas ebony) hardy

Condalia hookeri (Brazilian bluewood)  semi-evergreen, hardy, part shade light requirement

Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany)  8-20 ft, "almost" evergreen, hardy, slow grower

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)  hardy, slow grower

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)  36-72 ft, hardy

Deciduous species:

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac) 10-20 ft, hardy, fast grower

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)  hardy, fast grower

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)  hardy, fast grower

Castanea pumila (chinkapin)  may be subject to chestnut blight

Amelanchier arborea (common serviceberry)  15-25 ft, some mostly cosmetic disease and insect problems

Check our Suppliers list to locate a source for the shrubs.

You are among many who are wisely planting native shrubs as privacy hedges. Check out some of the previous answers to similar questions here and here and here.

Good luck!


Citharexylum berlandieri

Ebenopsis ebano

Condalia hookeri

Cercocarpus montanus

Sophora secundiflora

Juniperus virginiana

Rhus glabra

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus copallinum

Castanea pumila

Amelanchier arborea

 

More Trees Questions

Safe branch length of oaks in Clayton NC
November 06, 2011 - I have 2 very large oak trees in my yard and I am concerned about the length of the branches over the house and driveway. Most seem larger than 4" in diameter. What is a safe length for these branc...
view the full question and answer

Trees for a privacy barrier
October 06, 2007 - What would you suggest to plant for a privacy barrier along a back fence in Austin Texas? They need to be hardy and atleast 10 to 12 feet tall to block my neighbor's second story view of my yard.
view the full question and answer

Transplanting time for Smoketree in Quebec
September 14, 2006 - I would like to transplant my smoke tree. It is two years old. When would be the best time of the year to transplant. I live in Zone 4.
view the full question and answer

Survivors of a Cedar Elm thicket thinning.
April 12, 2013 - I thinned a thicket of cedar elm saplings, but a few are now leaning excessively. Will they straighten up over time or should I go ahead and cut them too? Thanks!!
view the full question and answer

Removal of invasive non-native Chinese wisteria
September 10, 2007 - I am going to be removing my ubiquitous chinese wisteria very soon (the method I'm going to use is undetermined). If I decide to use Round-up on the cut-stem (which may take more than one application...
view the full question and answer

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