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

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

Natural privacy hedge for Kyle Texas
January 06, 2014 - I am looking to make a natural privacy screen in the Kyle Texas area. I am being pointed towards Leyland Cypress by some and told to shy away from this tree by others. I found Green Giant Arborvitae a...
view the full question and answer

What are the differences between Arbutus xalapensis, A. unedo and A. marina
August 29, 2013 - One nursery lists madrone trees as arbutus uneda compacta and arbutus marina. The other lists it as arbutus xalapensis, which is the only name I can find in the data base. There is a very large pric...
view the full question and answer

Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
April 15, 2012 - I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area ...
view the full question and answer

Search for Silver Magnolia from Coram NY
July 11, 2012 - Hi, 20+ years ago I purchased a small tree labeled Silver Magnolia from a catalog. It was a sapling about 8 inches high when I first received it but amazing! The bloom the first year was as big as my ...
view the full question and answer

Small native trees for northern Virginia
September 27, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple in northern Virginia. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my...
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