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

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge that can be trimmed
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Please help us find a screening plant or tree (preferably native and evergreen with flowering and/or berries) which is non-invasive, not a vine, at least six feet tall if not taller, which can be easily shaped or trimmed without harm. We have a six foot tall bull-wire fence and the neighbors will want to cut the plant close to the fence on their side. We will want to keep it thick on our side. Our planting area is about two feet wide and borders our drive. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions that should satisfy your requirements.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)  It is evergreen, has pretty red berries and makes a good wildlife plant. It is a great plant to use in a hedge because it grows dense and twiggy.  But it grows slowly so you would have to be very patient.  You need male and female plants to have berries.  But you can usually only buy female plants. These are pretty drought tolerant after they get established but like a little more water than some others.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)This is a fast growing solution.  It is also a draw for the little myrtle warblers.  It will grow as a large shrub and can be trimmed.  It is evergreen and requires male and female plants to make the fragrant berries. Once established, it is drought and flood tolerant.

 Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) is a beautiful, fast-growing evergreen that is used for windbreaks.  It grows 30-40 feet tall and 15 -20 feet wide.  It might be too large for your space, but it is often used as a screen

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) This tree can also be used as a screen, especially if you choose one of the varieties well suited for that purpose.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Arizona cypress
Hesperocyparis arizonica

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shrubs/ Trees for Privacy Screening on Cape Cod
April 17, 2012 - Hi, I need a recommendation for a row of trees/shrubs that I can put on my boundary line to block my neighbor. It's in a wooded area that I could thin somewhat. I would need them to be fast growing...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs with fragrant flowers for screening in NY
October 27, 2010 - I'm trying to find a bush or shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the fence that would get between 6 and 8 ft tall. Something neat, and if possible with fra...
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Eight Foot Screen for Austin, TX
September 01, 2011 - I'm looking for a fast-growing shrub to "extend" the height of my fence and provide privacy in my yard in Austin. My lot is pretty much full sun and very dry, mostly clay soil. 8' is my goal. Than...
view the full question and answer

Replacement evergreens under power line in Wisconsin
April 11, 2013 - I have to replace evergreen trees in a privacy screen due to borer damage. The screen is below power lines so the replacements cannot be tall. I would like use bird and pollinator friendly replaceme...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center