Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
3 ratings

Tuesday - May 18, 2010

From: Highland Village, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen hedge for Dallas-Fort Worth area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our red tip photina hedge is slowly succumbing to black spot and we'll need to replace it within the year. (Yes, I now understand red tips come in two varieties: diseased and about to become diseased.) The current hedge is pruned to 50 feet long, 7 feet high and 4 feet deep and the photina did a great job for 10 years. The replacement hedge plant needs to be evergreen and possess a controlled root system since the hedge is planted along a 4 foot high retaining wall. The area receives full sun and we have a drip line running along the base. Suggestions for the DFW area given the restricted depth and root constraints? Thanks in advance,

ANSWER:

Photinia x fraseri (Redtip photinia) is a of hybrid the Japanese Photinia glabra and the Chinese Photinia serrulata and, as such, is not a plant native to North America.  We are very happy that you are considering replacing your hedge with a North American native since the focus and expertise of the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.  I'm not exactly sure what you mean by a controlled root system, but the following are not noted for their roots disrupting walls or foundations.  Here are suggestions:

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) can be kept pruned into a hedge

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) and here is more information

You might consider growing vines along the retaining walls instead of shrubbery.   Here are three that are evergreen:

Lonicera sempervirens (trumpet honeysuckle)

Bignonia capreolata (crossvine) is semi-evergreen

Gelsemium sempervirens (evening trumpetflower)

You can visit the Texas-North Central Recommended page for more possibilities for plants for your area.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Juniperus virginiana

Leucophyllum frutescens

Mahonia swaseyi

Mahonia trifoliolata

Prunus caroliniana

Bignonia capreolata

Gelsemium sempervirens

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
April 02, 2010 - 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 o...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for privacy hedge in Northern NJ.
May 01, 2012 - Hi, I'm looking for advice on what plant would make an excellent privacy hedge in Northern NJ (Bergen County). Ideally something low maintenance, about 5 feet tall, would act as a fence. Thanks...
view the full question and answer

Plants for privacy shield in Austin
May 19, 2010 - We are looking for a tall hedge on the lot line between us and our neighbors. Thinking Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) would be a good choice. Question: how close should we plant them tog...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for screen in Colleyville TX
March 12, 2009 - My soil is pure sand that goes down as far as I can dig. I am needing native plants to use as a screen, that grow to be 6-10 ft. tall. Also, since my plantings dry out so quickly, would it be helpfu...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant privacy plants for Flagstaff AZ
March 19, 2013 - We need a fast growing drought tolerant tree that will grow in Flagstaff AZ/Parks AZ. Neighbors are hoarders and we want privacy fence to cover the mess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.