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Mr. Smarty Plants - Privacy screen for wet area in Florida

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Monday - February 08, 2010

From: Freeport, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy screen for wet area in Florida
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

What are the best type of bushes/trees to plant in a low-lying area which is very wet--has sitting water after rainfall and drains slowly that is fast growing and serve as a good privacy border near fence? Want to hide neighbor's yard.

ANSWER:

Your question seems straight forward enough but the answer is not so.  If you plant trees and shrubs that are large enough and close enough together to immediately screen the view of your neighbor's yard you will very soon have a maintenance nightmare on your hands. The requirement of "fast growing" is relative ... the rest of the country thinks that everything in Florida is fast growing!

The best way for you to approach this challenge is to select a combination of trees and shrubs, some smaller (and less expensive) and a few larger, more mature ones.  Situate the larger ones strategically so they screen the view from more desirable spots in your yard (your patio, or perhaps your kitchen window!) and then place the smaller ones so that as they grow over the next 2-5 years, they will fill in the gaps. You will probably want evergreen plants as you are in a part of the country where you can enjoy the outdoors all year round.

You can start to select plants by visiting our Native Plant Information Network.  Do a Combination Search by selecting Florida and then narrow it by choosing "wet" conditions, the light requirements of your site and then trees or shrubs.  What you plant will ultimately depend on what you find at your local nurseries, but here are some evergreen plants we think might fit the bill. You may also find that some deciduous shrubs are dense enough and are bare for such a short time in Florida that you would like to include them as well.

Trees

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Cyrilla racemiflora (swamp titi)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Shrubs

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)


Chamaecyparis thyoides

Cyrilla racemiflora

Ilex opaca

Ilex glabra

Morella cerifera

 

 

 
 

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