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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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Tuesday - January 26, 2010

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen shrubs for screening in Hays County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Help! I bought 2 acres in Driftwood and built a small house. Last year, the neighbor moved in a dilapidated old mobile home right on the fence line and I feel all my peace is gone. What is the fastest growing native evergreen bush or tree that grows at least 10 feet high (even higher if possible) in full sun. I tried legustrums and they didn't make it through the summer heat. I appreciate any help.

ANSWER:

First of all, sorry, but Mr. Smarty Plants is glad that the ligustrums didn't make it.  They are a seriously invasive plant all over North America.  See the description of Ligustrum japonicum in the TexasInvasives.org database.  There are other ligustrums in the database, too (e.g., L. sinense, L. vulgare, etc.).  Mr. Smarty Plants has some alternatives, however, that are native to your area.  You might consider using several of these plants for your screen.  That way you will  have some variety and can determine if one or more of these will grow better or faster on your particular site.

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel) part shade and fast growth to 11 feet.  Here is more information.

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) part shade and fast growing to 15 to 20 feet

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) sun, part shade and moderate to fast growth to 8 feet.  Here is more information.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) part shade and moderate to fast growing up to 25 feet

Morella cerifera [syn. Myrica cerifera](wax myrtle) sun, part shade to 20 feet and moderate growth rate.  Since there are dwarf varieties that grow to only 5 or 6 feet, you will want to be sure that you choose the non-dwarf variety at the nursery.

Malpighia glabra (wild crapemyrtle) part shade to 6 feet.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) sun, part shade and slow to moderate growth to 35 feet and has beautiful flowers in the spring.  Here is more information.

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita) sun, part shade up to 8 feet.  Here is more information.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) sun, part shade, 5 to 8 feet, and here is more information.

Here are photos of the above plants from our Image Gallery:


Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Prunus caroliniana

Rhus virens

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Malpighia glabra

Sophora secundiflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

 

 

 

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