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

Saturday - November 20, 2010

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Large evergreens for screen in Seattle
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Our building would like large evergreens to help with freeway noise (it's right across the street with a large green belt around it.) Which Northwest Evergreens would work best? We need tall and wide ones being that it is a very big area to cover. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Why not use the Washington State Tree, Tsuga heterophylla (Western hemlock)?  It grows to 100 feet high in cultivation and nearly twice that tall in nature.   It has a graceful appearance with drooping branches and grows in variety of soils but likes humid or superhumid climatic conditions with adequate soil moisture.  Read more about it from the U. S. Forest Service and see photos and more information from Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Another possibility is Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), the Oregon State Tree.  It grows to around 200 feet, but landscape trees grow only to about 80 feet tall and 15 to 20 wide.  If it is growing alone or widely spaced from other trees, it usually retains its lower limbs.  If crowded, it may lose the lower limbs, exposing the trunk.  You can read about the tree and see more photos from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources.  See, also, the University of Connecticul Horticulture site for more information.

Thuja plicata (Western red cedar) is another large (typically up to 75 feet, but can grow to 200 feet or more) evergreen that usually retains its lower branches. It is more decay resistant than the Western hemlock or the Douglas fir.  There are photos and more information from Washington State Department of Natural Resources and from Conifers.org.

Finally, there is Picea sitchensis (Sitka spruce) that prefers coastal areas but will grow inland in well watered soils such as river flood plains.  Here are photos and more information from Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Conifers.org.

Here are photos of the Douglas fir from our Image Gallery:


Pseudotsuga menziesii


Pseudotsuga menziesii


Pseudotsuga menziesii

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Natural privacy hedge for Kyle Texas
January 06, 2014 - I am looking to make a natural privacy screen in the Kyle Texas area. I am being pointed towards Leyland Cypress by some and told to shy away from this tree by others. I found Green Giant Arborvitae a...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen privacy screen for Austin, Texas
October 11, 2010 - I need an evergreen privacy screen. I live in southern Travis County and have a 450 ft property line that has a view to about 10 -12 neighbors back yards. I need something that won't be nibbled by ...
view the full question and answer

Hedge to cover chain link fence
September 04, 2010 - Hi, I would like to hide 250 feet of 6' tall chain link fence on a western facing, sloped, very rocky soiled back yard I had to use a jack hammer to dig the holes. Esthetically I would like to be abl...
view the full question and answer

Screen of Thuja Occidentalis on fire-damaged property in Bastrop TX
May 04, 2013 - I want to plant a screen of Thuja Occidentalis on the east side of our driveway. It is in the burn area of Bastrop, TX. None of our trees survived. Will Thuja Occidentalis grow here? I saw some specim...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen large shrub/small tree for screen in Houston
May 26, 2010 - I live on the west side of Houston Tx. I need an evergreen large shrub or shorter tree between myself and a busy neighborhood road. There is a power line above this so we would like something that e...
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