En Español

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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 26, 2010

From: Plano, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen tree for privacy screen in Collin County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I am looking for a shrub or tree that will serve as a privacy screen. I would like it to grow very tall and be thick to help provide some privacy. I live in Collin County, and the area where the tree/shrubs will be placed gets a lot of morning sun, and is part shade in the afternoon. Currently it is located in an area that has collects rain water that will stay for several hours after a big rain. Ideally, I would love to find a tree/shrub that grows fast and can grow into an effective privacy screen fairly quickly.


I am supposing you want something evergreen since you are looking for a privacy screen.  I can find several evergreen trees that are native to Collin County but I'm not sure how tall "very tall" is and, more importantly there aren't too many trees that like to be in wet areas.  You should try to figure out why the area collects water after a rain and see if you can remedy it so that the drainage is better.  I'm not sure how big the area is but perhaps you should consider a French drain to eliminate the excess water that stands in the area.  Here are several trees and shrubs that are evergreen and are native to Collin County.  Either the wax myrtle, yaupon or laurelcherry sound like the best bet for you unless you figure out a way to remedy your drainage problem.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) grows 6 to 12 feet tall and likes moist or wet soils.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) usually grows 12 to 25 feet, but can grow higher.  It will grow in dry or moist soils and tolerates poor drainage.

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) grows 15 to 36 feet in moist soil.  Here are more photos.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) usually grows to 30 to 40 feet and can be trimmed into a hedge.  It, however, prefers dry soils.

Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak) grows to 20 to 40 feet, but prefers dry soils.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Morella cerifera

Ilex vomitoria

Prunus caroliniana

Juniperus virginiana

Quercus fusiformis




More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy screen in Kansas City, MO
April 04, 2012 - Hello, I am located in Kansas City, MO and am looking for a wall/screen plant. Last year I used a wall of sunflowers and loved them, however I want something more hardy and something I don't have to ...
view the full question and answer

Neat and tidy, poolside in Austin Texas.
December 01, 2010 - I have a small section between our pool and fence (approx 3 feet wide). I would like to plant something native that obscures the fence but does not create a mess for the pool. The area gets sun most...
view the full question and answer

Deer-resistant trees for privacy in Texas
January 09, 2015 - I need to find a deer resistant tall shrub or tree to plant and hide the deer fence my neighbor just put up on our property line. My property has full sun in parts and mostly shady in other parts and ...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen trees or shrubs for privacy screen in South Carolina
April 02, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, we recently lost a grove of eleven 30+ year old white pine trees in a storm this month. They provided a natural 42'x30' screen to the front of our property and home. What type o...
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle for screening in Euless, TX
March 04, 2009 - We live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. We need something to use as a screen along our back fence, to block the view of our neighbor's storage building. We are looking for a tall shrub that we can s...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center