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

Varieties of Ceanothus suitable for Illinois
September 07, 2012 - Ceanothus Velutinus is the smell of western Montana, my home, to me, and I have relocated to Illinois. I miss it so much that whenever I go home I bring back a jar of ceanothis leaves and keep th...
view the full question and answer

Texas native plants for cemetery site
February 09, 2005 - I am trying to landscape my mothers gravesite located in far East Texas (just outside of Nacogdoches) and I am looking for some evergreen bushes or any other decorative plants for that area. I am thi...
view the full question and answer

Drought-Tolerant, Evergreen Groundcover for CA
August 21, 2014 - We are looking for a drought tolerant, evergreen groundcover for California. I am considering Sarcococca hookeriana and Cotoneaster dammeri but don't know if they're the best options for the area. I...
view the full question and answer

Pest damage to Yaupon shrubs in Austin, TX
September 18, 2011 - I have noticed pest damage in our 4 ft. yaupon. There are circular holes eaten on 90% of the leaf growth. Trunk & branches look untouched and healthy. Could this be leafminers? How can I care for it?...
view the full question and answer

Root growth on non-native Pittisporum Tobira from San Francisco
October 29, 2011 - How do the roots grow and spread for the Pittosporum Tobira shrub? I have one that is about 20 feet tall and wonder how to care for it? Do you have a picture of how the roots grow?
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