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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.

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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.

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Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Newtown, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to be able to grow tall and wide, fast growing, and ideally, be coniferous for year round screening. It also has to have growing success in wooded and sometimes shaded conditions, and of course, be deer resistant, as much as possible. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Well, that is a tall order!  I learned in garden design class that once all the conditions and requirements are defined, narrowing down the potential plants is easy, as the list is usually actually quite short.

In this case, I am sorry to tell you that there is no evergreen (either needle or broadleaved) native to your area that will grow quickly to be tall and wide in the shade that the deer won't eat.

So you will have to compromise.  We recommend you speak to people locally (nurseries, garden clubs and your county extension service) to find out what plants people have had some success with. You may also want to have a look at this list of Deer Resistant Plants published by a garden cluib (but not all their plants are native to your area).

Once you have some plant suggestions you can get more information about them by visiting our Native Plant Database and entering the plant name.  You will find detailed information about the plant as well as images.  You can also check out our list of Deer Resistant Plants.  You can narrow your search for  Connecticut.

I am sorry we cannot be of more assistance; the only plant we could suggest you might try is Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) but deer are capricious and seem to have regional preferences, so they might be more than happy to eat yours when there is no alternative.

 

 

 

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