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

Wednesday - August 08, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Trees for privacy screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually reach a min. of 15' hgt and preferably grow closer to 30-40' hgt. Our soil is the Blacklands Prairie / Austin Eddy Association type - pretty clayey underneath a thin, loose top layer of soil. We'd previously tried a pair of ashe junipers there but they did not fare well and died within a year. Any help would be much appreciated!!!

ANSWER:

My guess is that you would prefer to have an evergreen.   It is too bad that the Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) did not work out.  I am wondering when you planted them and if you bought them from a nursery.   Ashe junipers do not do well if you try transplanting them from the wild.  Nursery stock will do the best and they will also do better if you plant them in the fall when it is cooler so that they have time to establish themselves before they have to deal with extremely hot weather.   The other juniper that does well in this area is Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) and it may be more readily available in nurseries.  Both junipers can grow to 30 feet and the Eastern red cedar will sometimes grow higher.  Another possibility is Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel).  It is an attractive tree that can grow to more than 30 feet with shiny dark green leaves.  Here are more photos and information for the cherry laurel from OnlinePlantGuide.com.  You can visit our National Suppliers Directory to find nurseries that specialize in native plants in your area that have these trees for sale.

 

From the Image Gallery


Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Trees Questions

Transplant rootbound tree now from Kerrville TX
June 10, 2012 - I purchased a Blanco Crabapple tree. Should I plant it now or wait until Fall? (It is currently rootbound.) Second question: Our Mountain Laurel has a dead trunk and one trunk has already died. I c...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy in PA
July 18, 2011 - 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 sto...
view the full question and answer

Cedar Elm trees for Rockport, TX
January 08, 2010 - Cedar Elm trees for the Gulf Coast area? I live alongside a fresh water lake with sandy soil that is 2 miles from the bays. Along the shoreline, I'd like to replace a Weeping Willow that is in decl...
view the full question and answer

Damaged oaks from Hurricane Ike in League City, TX
August 25, 2009 - After hurricane IKE, one of our oak trees (in front yard) was partially uprooted from the ground. We did place it back, and tie it down with supports. Further, we inserted fertilizer spikes, and give ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing evergreen tree to hide power lines
April 10, 2009 - Live in Orange Connecticut and need a tree that grows fast and tall to cover the power lines which are quite tall. I'm thinking evergreen type trees so that the during the winter it provides the cov...
view the full question and answer

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