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
1 rating

Thursday - August 09, 2012

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Looking for tree to absorb sound from neighbor's pool
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Our neighbors have put in a new pool with a harmonic pitch sound which resonates in my home. We have tried rubber mats and foam on the fence. Nothing is working. My pool guy suggested trees as the sound it bouncing off their brick wall upwards. What type of tree would block this sound? Resident of Katy, Texas.

ANSWER:

In fairness, your question should probably be directed to Mr. Smarty Engineer, since the problem really is an engineering one.  However, Mr. Smarty Plants happens to be aware of harmonic sound propagation by motors and pumps and so he will try to help.

In no way will vegetation help solve the problem, unless in the very unlikely scenario you were to mount the neighbors' pool pump to a large tree.  If your fence is a wooden one, your first inclination to place sound-deadening materials on it wasn't a bad idea, since in certain situations, a wooden fence might act as a sound board - think of a violin, cello or guitar body here.  But it's far more likely some other structure is acting as a sound board and amplifier to propagate the sound vibrations of the neighbors' pump all the way to your unhappy eardrums.

The best -- and happily, the simplest and cheapest -- solution is to mount your neighbors' pump on rubber motor mounts.  Pretty much any pool equipment supplier will have them and they are relatively simple to install.  Finally, your neighbors might want to remount their pump on rubber mounts anyway since rubber mounts will also reduce the likelihood of vibration-related damage to their plumbing and other components.

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy screening shrubs from La Quinta CA
July 31, 2013 - I need a solid row of screen tree / shrubs that are at least 10 feet (prefer 12) tall and can be kept trimmed to a narrow (6 foot or less?) width. Will be planted against a 6' cement wall facing west...
view the full question and answer

Pfluegerville Screening Hedge
May 25, 2014 - We live just north of Austin in a subdivision built on farm land so we have relatively flat land with good soil. We just put in a pool and are needing a privacy hedge along our 66 ft back fence. We ...
view the full question and answer

Screening Planter Recommendations for Lakeway TX
May 16, 2012 - I live in Lakeway in a townhome. The parking lot is directly in front of my unit so I always see headlights and cars. The HOA has agreed to build a planter about 4 feet high to help hide the cars. W...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen for a pecan orchard in Chappell Hill, TX.
September 21, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, My family has just begun converting our land in Chappell Hill, TX (Washington County) into a pecan orchard. We had to clear a lot of the overgrowth around the edge of the proper...
view the full question and answer

California Vine for Privacy Screening
November 06, 2014 - I have a two story house going up behind my back yard. I would like to plant a climbing vine with non-invasive roots to provide privacy. I live in Los Angeles and the trellis would receive almost full...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center