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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.

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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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Monday - July 03, 2006

From: Kansas City, MO
Region: Midwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants
Title: Plants for dog-safe privacy hedge in Missouri
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in Missouri and would like to put a "living fence" around my yard for some privacy. Ideally, I want something that is going to grow fast so that I don't have to wait years and years for my "fence" to be complete. I'd prefer something native, and also have dogs, so I need to make sure that nothing with poisonous berries or leaves is in the yard. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Here are six suggestions for you of shrubs/small trees native to Missouri. The first three are reported to be fast growing:

1. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
2. Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius)
3. Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica)
4. Gray dogwood (Cornus racemosa)
5. Possum haw (Ilex decidua)
6. Black haw (Viburnum prunifolium)

You can also see and read about Spicebush, Ninebark, Fragrant sumac, Gray dogwood, Possum haw, and Black haw in the Native Plants Database.
 

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