Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - June 04, 2011

From: Commerce, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Need native plants for wind block and screening along a fence row in Commerce, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a small tree or lg shrub for wind block & screening along a fence row. The soil is black clay with a mostly full sun exposure. Landscaper suggested Elaeagnus but I want a native. Thanks!

ANSWER:

First, I’ll direct you to four publications that explain the “what, when, where, and why” of  windbreaks. These cover the reasons for planting windbreaks, their design, and plant selection.

Iowa State University  Extension;

     Publication 1716, 

      Publication 1717.

USDA-NRCS;  WIndbreaks , Their Use

Department of Natural Resources, State of Ohio; Why Plant A Windbreak

For further plant selection, let me introduce you to the Native Plant Database. We can use it to help us select some plants for your situation. One way of using the Database is to go to the Recommended Species Lists. Click on “View Recommended Species Page”, and then click on East Texas on the map. This will bring up 133 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in East Texas. This is more information than you need, so go to the Narrow Your Search box to the right of the window and make the following selections: select Texas under State, Shrub under habit, and Perennial under duration. Check the appropriate boxes under Light Requirement and Soil Moisture for your location. Click on the Narrow Your Search button and the list is reduced. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has plant characteristics, growth requirements and photos.  As you check through the list note the light requirements, moisture requirements, preferred soil types of the plants you are considering.

Here are a couple of links that can help you deal with your clay soil.
Bachmans Gardens  

fine Gardening  

This link to the USDA-Forest Service sort of sums up our feelings about Elaeagnus.

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Vines for fence in Bentonville, Arkansas
June 12, 2013 - I have about 600 LF of 8ft high chain link fence I would like to grow vines on in Northwest Arkansas for screening. I would like some to cover quickly but be maintenance friendly. I heard alternating ...
view the full question and answer

Need small, fast growing trees for privacy screen in Buda, TX.
February 01, 2013 - Please recommend some small, but fast growing, flowering trees to plant along a western fence for privacy
view the full question and answer

Plants to keep children out of yard
April 23, 2008 - I WANT TO PLANT SOMETHING ALONG A FENCE LINE TO KEEP CHILDREN OUT OF OUR YARD. NEEDS TO GROW FAST BUT NOT POISONOUS
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in San Antonio
April 30, 2012 - I am looking to plant native fast-growing evergreens that will provide privacy (growing taller than our fence). We live in San Antonio and the Red Tip Photinia seems to be everywhere! I heard that t...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Prosperity SC
May 19, 2013 - I need to know what would be a good tree to plant for blocking my neighbor's home it needs to be an evergreen and slender in the space it would take.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.