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

Friday - April 02, 2010

From: Holly, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block out some of the noise? Thanks

ANSWER:

Is this something that has just been put in, or you just moved in and discovered it? It would seem possible that there could be some sort of zoning regulations that would require the owner of the pump to do something to abate the noise. If you happen to live in a Homeowner's Association, you should certainly go to their Board and ask about the noise.  Have you talked to the owners of the pump? They may be unaware of the noise level because of where it is placed; perhaps it needs adjustment or the bearings need servicing.  We certainly can, and will, see if we can find a shrub that would help with the noise; however, you would probably need something evergreen, which could be a little hard to find in Michigan. The problem is, the farther the barrier is from the source of noise, the less effective it is going to be, and you will have to plant a lot of shrubs. If it can be done, it would be much better to have the sound barrier around the noise source than on your property line.

From the Michigan Township Association, we found a list of Anti-Noise Regulations which included this one:

"12. The operation of any machinery, equipment or mechanical device so as to emit unreasonably loud noise which is disturbing to the quiet, comfort or repose of any person."


Whether your town has this set of ordinances in effect, we have no idea, but you should certainly check with local authorities. Now, on to your original request, for some shrubs that might help block that noise. We found 3 that are evergreen and native to your USDA Hardiness Zone of 6a to 6b, in Oakland County. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant for more information on height, water and light needs, etc. Unfortunately, none of these are very tall, and would therefore probably block the noise better planted around the pump than on your property.

Evergreen Shrubs for Sound Barrier in Holly, MI:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) - more information and pictures

Ilex mucronata (catberry) - more information and pictures

 

From the Image Gallery


Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy Hedge Plant for CA
January 26, 2016 - We recently moved into a new home right on the border of Cherry Valley and Beaumont, Ca. We are at an elevation of 2,900 ft. We are looking for a plant that we can use as a privacy hedge along our bac...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
April 17, 2012 - Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screening plant for California
May 08, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen plant that can be used as a screen. Maybe something wispy. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Natural Privacy Planting for New Jersey
October 09, 2013 - I have a question about privacy plantings in New Jersey (Monmouth County). We have a wooden fence around the perimeter of backyard with some various older trees. We wanted to start anew and wanted to ...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous, non-allergenic plants for privacy fence
March 15, 2012 - I'm looking to put in some plants to create a privacy fence against one side of my property. I'd like a mix of plants that grow well together in order to create a diverse look. I need something ever...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center