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

Friday - May 27, 2011

From: Portland, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: A nice-looking, fast-growing privacy hedge for Oregon
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Would you please suggest a fast growing option to create a privacy hedge? I need to get my husband off the boxwoods he is touting.. The ideal solution would grow to 8 feet high, look interesting all year round, and produce nuts or fruit that distract the birds from the cherry, quince and fig trees growing along that side of the yard. Many thanks!

ANSWER:

It is hard to find the perfect plant for your requirements, mainly because the beautiful ones which come to mind are generally rather slow-growing.  I might suggest Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae), also called Western Red Cedar (see attached photo of hedged plants).  This evergreen grows moderately fast and is sometimes trimmed and used as a privacy hedge.  If left alone it grows into a tall tree.  Another possibility is Alnus rhombifolia (White alder) (see attached photo).  This is a fast growing tree but is deciduous.  You might consider planting white alders and , behind or among them, slower-growing species such as Vaccinium ovatum (California huckleberry) (see description by Washington Native Plant Society) or Morella californica (California wax myrtle) (see attached photographs).  When the alders grow too tall cut them down and the evergreen species will be large enough to give you privacy plus some food for your birds.  Or plant among them Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) for showy spring blossoms.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pacific rhododendron
Rhododendron macrophyllum

More Privacy Screening Questions

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Covering dead arborvitae with non-native ivy from Niles MI
April 14, 2013 - I have a severely thinning arborvitae hedge. It is probably too shady, but I want the privacy. I'm thinking of planting something like ivy to fill the gaps. I know it will probably kill the hedge, bu...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX
February 07, 2014 - I need some help. I live near the Guadalupe River in Canyon Lake, TX and my backyard faces a busy street. I need a fast growing thick shrub for my backyard for privacy since I cannot afford a fence at...
view the full question and answer

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, deer resistant privacy screen for Villanova PA
March 29, 2013 - Looking for something that is deer resistant and ideally evergreen to block a shed and fence that my neighbor recently installed. Live in Eastern PA. Not the best drainage and also shade for most of...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center