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

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

Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
March 14, 2009 - I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that att...
view the full question and answer

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

New York State Shrubs to Screen Home from Traffic
March 11, 2010 - I am looking for a native New York bush/small tree which I can use along a road to screen my home from year-round car traffic. The area is not terribly wide and the soil is OK. I am willing to prune a...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for California screen
September 28, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants, I need a tree for screen and privacy. Our neighbors are building a second story. We will loose our privacy and our patio will be like a fish bowl. I will plant it about 2 fee...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening shrubs from La Quinta CA
July 31, 2013 - I need a solid row of screen tree / shrubs that are at least 10 feet (prefer 12) tall and can be kept trimmed to a narrow (6 foot or less?) width. Will be planted against a 6' cement wall facing west...
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