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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - July 26, 2011

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Impenetrable privacy hedge in Wimberly, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live near Wimberly, TX. I'd like to grow an impenetrable privacy hedge about 200' long and at least 10' tall and 10' deep (or more) using native plants. I'd like it to be evergreen, drought tolerant and deer resistant as well. Maybe I'm asking too much? I plan to use grey-water for irrigation, with well water as needed for supplemental irrigation until they are established. Recommendations on plant species would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants gets numerous inquiries about privacy hedges, but yours is the first that has “impenetrable” as one of the specifications.  Impenetrable to animals?, people?, motorized vehicles?

Here’s a link to a previously answered question about a 700 ft. privacy screen in Wimberley which in turn has links to several other privacy screen questions. In all of this, you will find directions for using our Native Plant Database for the selection of plants, and lists of plants that can used for privacy screens. Our Deer Resistant Plant list has has suggestions for plants that deer tend to avoid, but a hungry deer will eat just about any plant.

Generally for privacy screens, the plants are planted in a single row, but this isn’t going to give you the 10’ depth and density that you desire. You are going to need to space the plants closer together in two or more rows achieve this. When you look at growth characteristics in the database, pay attention to the width of the plants at maturity.

What you are proposing is somewhat akin to planting a windbreak. Here are two links that talk about windbreak design and planting, as well as plant selection that may help you with your privacy screen. 

Why Plant a windbreak?, Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources
Windbreaks Their Use,   USDA

 

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