Explore Plants

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
    
 

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


Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

More Privacy Screening Questions

Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
April 02, 2010 - My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block o...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screening of House Next Door in NC
June 26, 2013 - Hello, I live in the house my parents bought in 1971 in Winston-Salem, NC. The house beside me is an eyesore and for sale at a very low price. I am afraid the condition of the house and yard next door...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrubs for screening in Hays County, Texas
January 26, 2010 - Help! I bought 2 acres in Driftwood and built a small house. Last year, the neighbor moved in a dilapidated old mobile home right on the fence line and I feel all my peace is gone. What is the fast...
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

Need evergreen privacy screen for Austin, Texas
October 11, 2010 - I need an evergreen privacy screen. I live in southern Travis County and have a 450 ft property line that has a view to about 10 -12 neighbors back yards. I need something that won't be nibbled by ...
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.