En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California

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

Saturday - August 20, 2011

From: Santa Barbara, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Tall screening tree for Santa Barbara, California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, we live in Santa Barbara, California. We are looking for a tree between 20-30 feet high to block the neighbors two-story house yet the area we have to plant is 3 feet from the fence to the driveway. We currently have 3 majestic beauty olive trees along the fence in front of this location and are looking for options to blend with these and continue to block the house year round for privacy. My husband thought of an oak which I think would get too big and messy for this area. I thought an Australian Willow might work well but some find it boring. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

ANSWER:

Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", we certainly wouldn't recommend an Australian Willow.   We do, however, have some native possibilities for you.

The one that sounds ideal for your purpose is Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii (Hollyleaf cherry).  Here is more information about it that indicates it makes an excellent tall, dense screening plant and can be planted in close proximity to a building or other structure.

Another possibility is Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. aspleniifolius (Fernleaf catalina ironwood) and here are photos and more information.

Here are a couple of pines that are possibilities:

Pinus muricata (Bishop pine) and here are more information and photos

Pinus torreyana (Torrey pine) and here is more information.

 

From the Image Gallery


Catalina cherry
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Catalina cherry
Prunus ilicifolia ssp. lyonii

Torrey pine
Pinus torreyana

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy hedge that can be trimmed
June 06, 2011 - 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 easi...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screen for newly constructed metal building
March 31, 2010 - Neighbor built a 12' tall metal building right by my gate. I want to screen it with fast-growing evergreen natives. I have lots of ashe juniper on my property, but none where I need it now! Can AJ...
view the full question and answer

Screening Shrub for Lubbock TX
April 08, 2012 - I am a landscape architecture student at Texas Tech University and am looking for a drought tolerant shrub to be used for screening a water well area. The location is the northwest corner of a yard wi...
view the full question and answer

Privacy shield for Long Island, NY
May 13, 2009 - I live in Long Island New York (Smithtown), Zone 6, I think. My yard has mostly shade and I would like to plant something for privacy along my back fence because my neighbors house is close and their...
view the full question and answer

Tree for screening along road
August 20, 2008 - What would you recommend for a linear tree lined street that needs to act as a buffer to hide less desirable backyards of ugly houses. The road is on lake travis near austin, texas. was hoping for a...
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