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?

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
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

Tuesday - March 30, 2010

From: Center, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Fast-growing evergreens for privacy in Center, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in East Texas and am looking for a fast growing evergreen for a privacy screen around my backyard. The area gets partial sun and the soil has a lot of clay in it.

ANSWER:

Before you start planting, you might consider amending that clay soil a bit. As much rain as Texas has received this year. clay soils are absorbing that water, swelling up, and making it difficult for plant roots to access nutrients in the soil as well as causing drainage problems. Most plants do not take well to water on their roots, or the inability to obtain enough oxygen. Working some  compost into the soil will assist with the drainage and help the roots. The next thing you need to consider is timing; the optimum time for planting woody plants in Texas is in the Fall or late Winter when the plants are semi-dormant. So, if you want to get those plants in the ground before the Summer, you need to do it now. It will be easier on you and the shrubs. Plants put in the ground in the intense heat of Texas' Summer can easily develop transplant shock, which retards their growth and can kill them. That's a lot of time and money to invest in a dead plant.

We are going to our Recommended Species, click on East Texas on the map, and then select "shrubs" or "trees" under General Appearance, and "part shade" (from 2 to 6 hours of sun daily) under Light Requirements. You can repeat the search and make your own selections, or use different characteristics to search on. Some of these plants are classified as both trees and shrubs. Follow each plant link to the page on the individual plant to learn more about it.

Evergreen privacy screen for East Texas:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia)

Pinus taeda (loblolly pine)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera

Ilex opaca

Juniperus virginiana

Magnolia grandiflora

Pinus taeda

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Search for Silver Magnolia from Coram NY
July 11, 2012 - Hi, 20+ years ago I purchased a small tree labeled Silver Magnolia from a catalog. It was a sapling about 8 inches high when I first received it but amazing! The bloom the first year was as big as my ...
view the full question and answer

Tree (evergreen) to grow in area with high water table
March 27, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in central Austin, Tarrytown specifically, just blocks from the aptly named Spring Lane. (sometimes we hit water in our back yard within 2 feet of the surface.) We los...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing native trees for Manor,TX
August 04, 2005 - A friend wants to plant fast-growing trees to disguise a road on ranchland east of Manor, Texas. Any ideas? Many thanks.
view the full question and answer

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRANDYWINE MAPLE AND BIGTOOTH MAPLE - GEORGETOWN, TX
October 12, 2010 - We live in the Georgetown area (north of Austin). We have a maple tree, that had a tag that read Brandywine. We wanted a bigtooth maple. What is the difference between what we have and what we want...
view the full question and answer

Trimming non-native sago from Fresno CA
September 10, 2012 - I have a sago plant, fronds are hanging over into street, can the fronds themselves be trimmed back without removing the whole frond?
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center