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

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

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

American holly
Ilex opaca

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Sweetbay
Magnolia virginiana

More Shrubs Questions

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Plants for big pots by pool in Austin
August 14, 2012 - Could you please suggest some plants to put in big pots out by my pool? They will get lots of heat and sun. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
June 07, 2014 - The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
view the full question and answer

What about the brown dots on my Silver sage?
June 27, 2008 - During the past year, the leaves on my silver sage bushes around the perimeter of the front of my house have turned yellow in places and there are tiny brown dots on virtually all of the leaves. If I ...
view the full question and answer

Non-poisonous evergreen shrub for Houston playground
June 19, 2009 - I would like to know what type of small bush or shrub would be appropriate to plant in a children's playground in Houston, TX. It will be located in full sun. I would like it to retain its leaves yea...
view the full question and answer

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