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Monday - March 14, 2011

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Hedge plantings for Flower Mound, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Need to cover ~ 1000 linear feet with a thick hedge plant that will be ~ 8-15 ft tall, 8-12ft wide, fast growing, evergreen, drought resistant. Live in Flower Mound Tx. Researching on Red tip Photinia, Willow Hybrid, Chinese Photinia etc. Any recommendations?

ANSWER:

Our first recommendation is none of the above. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown. All of those plants you mentioned are non-native, fast-growing, susceptible to disease, easily broken down in winds and short-lived. We recommend native plants because they are naturally adapted to the climate, rainfall, soil  and temperatures, thus requiring less resources such as water, chemicals and fertilizers.

We are a little intimidated by the size hedge you need, and there are not many native plants that can live up to all those requirements. If you are thinking hedging will be a more economical choice than fencing, better think again. That is going to take a lot of plants, a lot of labor transporting and planting them, and a lot more labor, plus water, to get them going. If you are looking for an attractive green area to divide a property from its surroundings, we would suggest a mixed hedge. Small trees, shrubs, even some deciduous perennial plants would make an attractive boundary line. Having a hedge that wide (8 to 12 feet) is going to mean that, whether you have one row of plants that will grow very wide, or two rows of plants, the interior parts of the plants are going to get scraggly looking, with bare branches, due to the shade of the plants around them.

Perhaps you will want to rethink your plans. We do suggest that you use the information in our Native Plant Database to find plants native to North Texas; whether you use one plant in rows or stagger several kinds of plants is really your choice. Be warned, there is not that great a selection of native evergreen trees and shrubs available.

Begin by going to Recommended Species and click on North Central Texas on the map. On the right hand sidebar on the resulting page, enter "tree" under General Appearance, "dry" under Soil Moisture and 8-12 ft. under Height. You can vary these prerequisites as suits your situation, asking for shrubs, or indicating what amount of sun is available, height, etc.

The plant that comes the closest to the one that can fill all your requirements is Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper), which does grow in your area. However, it is very difficult to transplant, because of a long taproot, even when it's quite small. Plus, it's not too popular because of all the allergens it releases in late Winter.

We are going back to Recommended Species and search first on "tree" and then on "shrub" and make some suggestions for a mixed hedge. You can follow each plant link and learn the growing conditions, projected size, water requirements and so forth of each plant. Using the same technique, you can look for differnt selections.

Small Trees for a Hedge in North Central Texas:

 Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia) - some smaller varieties available

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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