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

Thursday - November 11, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen shrub with dense base for screen in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I just bought a house in Austin and am looking for an evergreen shrub to use as a thick hedge between my elevated yard and a bus stop. The only shrubs I can come up with tend to get thin toward the base which is close to eye height at the bus stop. Do you have a shrub for me?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants recommends the following three native evergreen shrubs/trees for your hedge.

1.  Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) starts off as a dense shrub and slowly thins and shows a bare trunk as it ages.  Some cultivars remain shrublike as they age.

2.  Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle) is another possibility.  It stays fairly thick and if you prune it judiciously to make it bush out rather than to grow tall, it should work just fine.

3.  If the place you are planting the shrub gets at least 6 hours of sunlight a day, then another option would be Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo).  Besides being dense, it has the advantage of producing flowers several times a year after rains.


Juniperus virginiana


Morella cerifera


Leucophyllum frutescens

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Fast-growing hedge for North Carolina.
February 17, 2009 - I am looking for a fast-grownig evergreen hedge that can be kept no taller than 6 feet. It will be grown in partal sun facing north
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants to form a privacy hedge in Granbury, TX.
April 14, 2011 - We live on a rocky hill in Hood County, Tx. and need suggestions for evergreen anything that will provide privacy. Red Cedars were added in October 2010 and it looks as if half of those are dying. He...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Hedge for Maryland Porch
July 03, 2014 - I am working on a screen/fence, which is a barrier hedge between our house and our next door neighbor's house to add privacy to our screen porch and dining area, especially in winter. The fence would...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Rockwall, TX
April 23, 2009 - Dallas area privacy screen recommendations. I have about 125ft of wrought iron fence between my yard and the neighbor's and a drainage pipe that runs along the fence. The neighbor's property sits u...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
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