Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
1 rating

Wednesday - March 02, 2011

From: Holmdel, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Privacy Trees for New Jersey
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My neighbor elevated a row of white pine between our houses at least 20 feet high leaving me with NO privacy and a row of ugly lollipops. What trees can I plant that will be fast growing and deer resistant?

ANSWER:

  Ahhh, that sounds pretty ugly.  Mr Smarty Plants understands your distress.  The general process we use to recommend a nice native that should fit the situation is to use the recommended species page, then use the “Narrow Your Search” function to see what might appeal.

When I select “New Jersey” and a height of 12-36 feet, I get 17 possibilities.  Of these:

   Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) is the only tree that explicitly lists moderate deer resistance.  There were two representatives from the Dogwood family [Cornus].  They are Cornus alternifolia (Alternateleaf dogwood) and Cornus florida (Flowering dogwood).  

         
Cercis canadensis
                        Cornus florida

   I found a few more candidates that listed “fast growing” as a characteristic.  There were two species from the Prunus genus,  Prunus serotina (Black cherry) and Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry). Take note though, that Prunus are considered poisonous.  This may lead it to be deer resistant as it is primarily the effect of seeds and leaves on livestock that is of issue.  If this one looks like your preference, you might might  want to review what they have on Prunus in the Poisonous Plants of North Carolina Database or in the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System and compare this information to your situation.  Another candidate, Rhus copallinum (Winged sumac), was noted as fast growing, but also as a deer browse.

         
Prunus virginiana
               Rhus copallinum

The following four trees interested me as possibilities, but did not explicitly quote “fast growing” or deer resistance as specific traits.
·          Sassafras albidum (Sassafras)
·          Asimina triloba (Pawpaw)
·          Malus coronaria (American crab)
·          Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine)

                   
Sassafras albidum
             Asimina triloba             Pinus virginiana

  A very good source for information on New Jersey native plants is the New Jersey Native Plant Society.  This link takes you to their home page, which leads you to contact information, horticultural questions, lists of natives by county, etc.. And, finally, you should contact the Rutgers University Monmouth County Extension Office, which has horticultural information for your area, contacts with Master Gardeners and other resources that can give you closer-to-home information than we can.

 

More Trees Questions

Trees for privacy in NY
March 17, 2011 - I am looking for trees native to New York that I can plant in front of my backyard fence that is six feet tall that will not hide my fence or overshadow my east facing garden beds and plants underneat...
view the full question and answer

Arborvitae for house plant from Austin
August 15, 2013 - I am a Northerner transplanted to Austin, TX. While I love Austin it feels like many of the plants & trees I came to love up north won't grow here at all. Could I grow an arborvitae in my home as a...
view the full question and answer

Growth on trunk of Eastern Redbud
November 14, 2007 - My seven yr. old Eastern Redbud has a large patch (12x4inches) of white grey, shell or mushroom-like growth on the trunk. The bark has a wide split so the growth is on the layer of wood inside the sp...
view the full question and answer

Are white pine trees toxic to horses?
May 31, 2009 - Are white pine trees toxic to horses?
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
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.