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 - July 18, 2011

From: Whitehall, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Evergreen for privacy in PA
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

We need to plant a privacy/sound barrier hedge/hedgerow and my husband says it must be evergreen. I am not familiar with which species would be native to our area and I just don't trust those big stores to steer me correctly. We live in Whitehall, PA and the area in question gets good solid light year round. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

ANSWER:

We CAN help, by teaching you how to use our Native Plant Database to learn about what evergreens are native to your area.

Do a Combination Search for PA and select the plant type you are interested in (trees or large shrubs), your conditions (you say plenty of light but don't mention whether the soil is moist, wet or dry) and evergreen leaf retention.  The database will generate a list of plants that fit those criteria that are native to PA.  Each plant on the list is linked to a detailed information page with images. Play with the Narrow your Search function to see the lists change accordingly.

Ultimately, you will be restricted in your choices by what is available in your local nurseries (and some of those big box stores do make an effort to carry plant material that is not only native but local), but you can make your list and then go shopping. You can also look up the plants the nurseries recommend for more information.

Here are a few that would be suitable from lists I created choosing sun/part shade and not narrowing the search for moisture condtions.

Larger shrubs

Ilex glabra (Inkberry)

Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel)

Trees (these can get big)

Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) (this may be semi-evergreen depending on what cultivar you choose)

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

American holly
Ilex opaca

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

More Trees Questions

Plantings for a slope from New Carrollton MD
June 27, 2012 - My house (Maryland, near DC) sits at the bottom of a south facing slope. The soil is very heavy clay. The grade is about 1:20 for about 100 feet (with a steeper part at the top). Part of the hill is i...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on Mexican Plum in Salado, TX.
July 24, 2013 - I do live in Cental Texas (Salado) and I have the same problem with my Mexican Plum as the lady in Bellaire, TX. Mine was planted in June in a raised bed and receives sun all day long. Within the la...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
February 11, 2005 - How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?
view the full question and answer

Care of huisache tree (Acacia farnesiana)
September 25, 2007 - I bought a huisache tree, about one ft. tall, last spring. How do I prune, stake, and care for it as it grows? Do they usually bloom in Brownwood, Tx ?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of newly planted magnolia in Irving TX
November 10, 2009 - I planted four Little Gem Magnolia (Magnolia Grandiflora) in my back yard during first week of October 2009. One of them seem to be dying because its leaves have turned very brown and the leaves are c...
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.