En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - October 26, 2010

From: Casper, WY
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Need a shrub that can tolerate high winds in Casper, WY.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I need a medium height evergreen shrub that can tolerate severe winds, extreme cold, and requires little water. I live in Casper WY, which is high-desert, 5,000 foot elevation, zone 4. We have roaming antelope and a few deer. I don't mind if they graze on the shrubs, as long as they don't completely demolish them. I want to plant these shrubs along the top of a bluff which gets almost constant wind, sometimes up to 50 - 70 MPH, throughout the year. Thank you for any help you can provide!

ANSWER:

In our databases, we have sun plants, shade plants, and plants for dry habitats, but we don't have a category for "wind-proof" plants. The minimal wind speed for a Level I hurricane is 75 miles per hour.

Here are three things that I'm going to suggest for you to do. First, go to our  Recommended Species Page,  and click on your state on the map. Go to the Narrow Your Search box to the right of the page and make these selections: select Wyoming under State, shrub under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check Sun under Light Requirement, and Dry under Soil Moisture. The Bloom TIme and Bloom Color are immaterial for now. Click the Narrow your search button and you will get a list of 13 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Wyoming. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page with information about plant characteriatics, growth requirements, and images. Like I said, the pages don't tell about wind resistance, but this leads me to my second suggestion; look around the area to see what species are already growing in that type of environment. The people at the Natrona County Office of the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service should be able to help you with this, and perhaps make recommendations.

These two articles about wind breaks may give you ideas about the kind of plants to use on your bluff.

USDA

Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Wilting stems on beautyberry in Georgetown, TX
August 16, 2009 - Last summer I discovered that a 4-year old beautyberry had one (of many) stems that died. Leaves on this single stem wilted and dried up. This year the same happened to two or three stems. The rest of...
view the full question and answer

Lantana failing to bloom from Tampa FL
October 04, 2012 - I reside in central Florida. I have planted several lantana the orange,red,yellow type. I don't have proper species name. They have been in the ground 3 weeks with 2" of potting soil around root ba...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for Pittsburgh PA
January 30, 2012 - What shrubs can I plant on a wet slope that gets partial sun that will help control erosion? They need to be something the deer won't eat! We have lots of deer.
view the full question and answer

Winter pruning of lantana from Austin
February 12, 2013 - I live in north Austin. Due to our mild winter, my lantana has not died off this season as it usually does after a freeze - and so I have not cut it back yet this year which I typically do about right...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for East Texas
October 31, 2012 - I am looking for a small to medium evergreen shrub (native to east Texas) for a location that receives some sun in the morning but mostly shade. Something that blooms & attracts butterflys & hummingbi...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center