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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

 

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