En EspaŅol

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
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

Fence Vines for Austin, TX
August 31, 2013 - Hi, What are the best high density vine plants for coverage on chain link fence in Austin, TX? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Hedge in Desert Full Sun
March 25, 2012 - We want a short hedge, 2-3 ft tall, small leaves that fill in to full looking hedge. It is in Phoenix Arizona area and gets full sun all afternoon
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Santa Rosa CA
May 13, 2009 - I am looking for a very fast growing privacy hedge/screen, 15-20 ft., requires not much pruning. I want an evergreen with not a lot of mess. The area gets full sun and after the plant is established...
view the full question and answer

Plants for Liberty Hill TX in full sun
April 15, 2008 - We recently bought an acre of land in Liberty Hill, TX. We have a large planting area in the front that is devoid of any plant life. I would like to turn this into a semi shaded area with some annua...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screening plant for California
May 08, 2012 - I am looking for an evergreen plant that can be used as a screen. Maybe something wispy. Any suggestions?
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