Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

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 Privacy Screening Questions

Evergreen for privacy screen in Virginia
December 02, 2008 - Last year we lost a large pine that was part of privacy screen and we replaced it with two Eastern red cedars. There is still a substantial gap that won't be filled in by the cedars and we were cons...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen in front of cinderblock wall in Los Angeles
June 28, 2009 - I'm looking for a privacy hedge to plant along my backyard's cinderblock wall in Los Angeles, CA. I need it to grow 10 - 15 feet and it can't be toxic to dogs. Any advice would be great!
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for Canyon Lake, TX
February 07, 2014 - I need some help. I live near the Guadalupe River in Canyon Lake, TX and my backyard faces a busy street. I need a fast growing thick shrub for my backyard for privacy since I cannot afford a fence at...
view the full question and answer

Plant for privacy hedge in Oklahoma that is not poisonous to dogs
April 01, 2012 - Hello! I am looking to put a privacy hedge fence in my yard. I love the look of American Holly, however, I have a dog who eats everything so I worry that this will not be a wise choice with the b...
view the full question and answer

Decorative Trees for Scenic Bench in Fairhope IL
June 10, 2012 - I am looking for a recommendation for a pair of small trees (does not grow taller than 18-20 feet) that can provide shade on either side of a stone bench. The site is in full sun, western exposure an...
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.