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

Shade tolerant plants for privacy from Larchmont NY
April 19, 2014 - Love your site! We have a 4'x4'x50' stone wall, full sun, with a planting bed 30"H by 24"D. We're looking for privacy, so a hedge with pruning is needed. We have looked at Ilex Crenata (8'),...
view the full question and answer

Looking for shrubs to replace Photinia as a privacy screen in Arlington, VA.
February 08, 2011 - Suggestions to replace diseased red tipped photinia. Looking for hardy privacy screen type of evergreen, not too deep with height of approx. 10-12' Thank you
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Hedge for Austin
November 28, 2010 - Hello, We live in Austin and have a yard that is almost fully shaded. We have a few burford holly bushes there, but would like to add some evergreen interest. We would love a tall hedge (around 8 ft...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen in California
May 31, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smartypants, We are first-time home-buyers of a cute little house and a relatively large lot in Pacific Grove, CA. Unfortunately the neighbors to the north have built a second story with a nic...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
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