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?

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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - September 20, 2010

From: Clermont, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Tree or shrub for acoustical protection in Clermont FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type of tree or shrub would be best to lower the db level of freeway noise in Central Florida? I live about 3/4 of a mile from a freeway but due to the wind and hills it causes the noise to bounce around and enter my backyard.

ANSWER:

We are gardeners, not acoustical engineers, but we do know how severe that problem can be. To answer the question "What will help control noise?" The answer is "something dense." So far as we know, there is no decibel standard for plants, at least not yet, so we will help you look in our Native Plant Database for a shrub or tree that will at least help. No doubt, the freeway is used year-round, so you probably need something everygreen. Clermont, in Lake County, Florida seems to be in USDA Hardiness Zone 9a, so we will be looking at the genus Ilex (holly) and also Magnolia. Both of these are native to Florida, evergreen, have dense leaves, the yaupon with small leaves and the magnolia with large. They can also both be trimmed up into tree form or left as a shrub. Follow the plant link on each one to find out what kind of light (sun, part shade or shade), watering and other requirements these plants need to flourish.

Sound Barrier Plants for Clermont FL:

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (Myrtle dahoon)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia)

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex vomitoria


 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Re-landscaping neglected garden in Franklin CT
April 03, 2011 - I am starting from scratch in a yard that has no planting beds or, for that matter, plants at all. House was vacant for quite some time, grass was three feet tall when we moved in. I would like to p...
view the full question and answer

Yaupon hollies dying mysteriously
July 16, 2014 - I have a row of yaupon hollies (Ilex vomitoria) that I keep trimmed like a hedge. They were all healthy for many years. Two years ago one of them died and I removed it, leaving a gap in the line of h...
view the full question and answer

Shape of common ninebark in Canton MI
April 24, 2010 - I have planted one center glow ninebark in a triangular area in between my front walk and driveway. It looks a little odd just having one plant, but I originally did this b/c of the mature plant heig...
view the full question and answer

Plants that will grow in clay in North Carolina
March 14, 2008 - I have a small fenced back yard, predominately hard red clay, that is a major focal point. I am designing my own garden/yard area (to cut cost) and have a list of plants that will grow in this soil w...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for full sun in North Carolina
October 21, 2009 - We need suggestions for native NC evergreen shrubs that will grow well in full sun for a school garden. Most of what I've found likes part shade. We need something that will not be over 10 feet or ca...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center