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

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

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Native NW Pennsylvania Plants for Soap
November 06, 2014 - Are there any plants in northwest Pennsylvania that can be used as soap?
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Simpsonville SC
May 04, 2013 - My neighbor cut down his part of our shared woods so now we see his whole "outside patio area". What kinds of fast growing shade loving trees and shrubs can we plant on our property line that will c...
view the full question and answer

Dogwoods Late in Blooming
May 14, 2015 - We are seeing no evidence of flowers on two dogwoods this year. One usually is in bloom now, the other later on in the spring.
view the full question and answer

Identification of shrub with thorns
August 07, 2008 - I have a plant in my garden that I need to identify. It is a tall shrub (approx. 10 feet) that has very large thorns on its green branches. It is now showing small white flowers. I don't know if i...
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