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Mr. Smarty Plants - Evergreen tree for screen behind a waterfall

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Sunday - July 25, 2010

From: Coppell, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen tree for screen behind a waterfall
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to plant 3 evergreen trees as a screen behind a waterfall and along a fence by my pool. We took down a wax myrtle due to winter/ice damage and the mess in the pool. I want male yaupon hollies for the look I am trying to achieve but cannot find males. Would the females (berries) make a mess in the pool. Do you have any other suggestions for trees or large shrubs that can be made into trees that would achieve the same look. What we had was about 15 feet tall. Thank you

ANSWER:

The reason you are having difficulty finding male Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) is because most people want the female trees that produce the red berries.  However, the female trees won't make berries unless its flowers are pollinated by pollen from trees with male flowers so there are male trees out there somewhere for the bees to visit to gather pollen for the female flowers.  The female trees are created vegetatively (cloned) so that they are identical to the parent plant.  The male plants can also be cloned and there are several male cultivars available:

Ilex vomitoria 'Will Fleming'

Ilex vomitoria 'Schilling's Dwarf'

Ilex vomitoria 'Bordeaux'

Female yaupons will make berries, birds love to eat them, and they may make a mess in your pool.  Not knowing how close the trees will be to the pool, I can't predict how big a problem it would be.    

Here are a couple of recommendations for other evergreen trees that might create less of a mess.  There are several cultivars of Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) that remain small and hedge-like.  There is 'Idyllwild' that grows to 15 feet high and 5 to 7 feet wide, 'Taylor' that grows 30 feet tall and 3 feet wide and you can see more cultivars here.  Another possibility is Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry).  It also produces berries.

Finally, here is a list from the Collin County Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) of Nurseries that Specialize in Native and Drought-Tolerant Plants (& seeds) in the Collin and Dallas County areas. You might try calling some of them to see if they have male yaupons.

 

 

 

 

 

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