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

Wednesday - March 31, 2010

From: Salado, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
Answered by: Nan Hampton


Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ be transplanted? How? Or what other solution? Waxmyrtle? EG Sumac? Help! Thanks!


With most people struggling to get rid of (or at least keep in check) Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper) you would think it would be easy to transplant.  It isn't—at least not as a reasonably large-sized shrub. Unfortunately,  it is very difficult to transplant.  You might get away with transplanting some very small plants if you carefully get all the roots; but, you can pretty well write off transplanting larger ones. You might do well with nursery trees that were grown in containers, however.  You can check our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries in your area that might carry junipers.  Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) also grows in the area and isn't considered as invasive as Ashe's juniper and more likely to be found in a nursery setting.

Both Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) and Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) are good choices.  There are dwarf cultivars of wax myrtle so check carefully when you buy.  Here are some other evergreen possibilities:

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri (Lindheimer's silktassel) and here is more information

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

You might also consider putting up a latticework or wire fence and growing evergreen vines on it, such as:

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine)

All of the plants above have rapid to moderate growth.

You can find many of these plants for sale (no junipers, however) at our Spring Plant Sale.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Juniperus ashei

Juniperus virginiana

Rhus virens

Morella cerifera

Garrya ovata ssp. lindheimeri

Leucophyllum frutescens

Prunus caroliniana

Lonicera sempervirens

Gelsemium sempervirens

Bignonia capreolata






More Privacy Screening Questions

Trees for screen around pool near Dallas
June 13, 2010 - I am looking for a native plant to use around a pool to provide screening (I am putting in a 12 ft tall set of flag poles to suspend a sun screen the HOA wants me to block the flag poles) I have 8 ft ...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screen Tree for Patio in NC
April 15, 2013 - What is a good tree to plant in front of a brick wall/fence to provide privacy and not compromise the structural integrity of the wall? The brick fence is my neighbors but I need privacy as they can s...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for screen
May 01, 2008 - I'd like your recommendation for an evergreen shrub (flowers would be a nice bonus but not as necessary as the evergreen factor) or small tree with a height hopefully under 12' and a width hopefully...
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for screening in Hays County, Texas
January 26, 2010 - 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 fast...
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