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

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 Privacy Hedge for Long Island
June 29, 2012 - I live on Long Island and want a privacy evergreen hedge partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Plant for privacy hedge in Oklahoma that is not poisonous to dogs
April 01, 2012 - Hello! I am looking to put a privacy hedge fence in my yard. I love the look of American Holly, however, I have a dog who eats everything so I worry that this will not be a wise choice with the b...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for privacy screen in Connecticut
November 21, 2008 - I am looking to replace a row of white pine trees with something else along the border between our yard and neighbor's yard. We only get afternoon sun and we need something that will grow to around ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for Austin TX
February 28, 2015 - I am wanting an evergreen shrub 6-8 ft tall to use as a screen in our backyard. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Boundary plants to control cats
June 06, 2006 - Is there a plant especially ANNOYING to cats that I could plant along my fence line to keep him away from the street beyond? It would have to be hardy enough for hot temps & full sun. Thanks!
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center