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
8 ratings

Wednesday - August 15, 2012

From: Novato, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Evergreen shrub for hedge in pasture in California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking at putting in a hedge along a pasture between my neighbor and me. I was considering a podacarpus plant about every 4' for 100'. is this a fast growing, full thickness, tall evergreen bush? is it OK for horses and cows and any other animal life?

ANSWER:

Podocarpus marcrophylla (Japanese yew) is native to Japan and China and we would not recommend planting it since our mission is to "increase the sustainable use and conservation of native (North American) wildflowers, plants and landscapes."  I can, however, suggest several California native evergreens for your hedge.  The following are all evergreen and native to Northern California:

Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita).  'Dr. Hurd" is a variety that grows 6 to 12 feet high and makes a good hedge.   Here are photos and more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in southern California.  This shrub is available at Bay Natives, one of our associates, in San Francisco.

Garrya elliptica (Wavyleaf silktassel) grows to 10 ft.  Here are photos and more information from San Francisco Botanical Garden and from Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside.

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) [synonym = Myrica californica] grows 10 to 25 ft.  Here are photos and more information from Calflora.org, CalPhotos and Great Plant Picks.

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blue blossom) grows to 18 ft.   Here are more photos and information from Bay Natives and from Tree of Life Nursery in San Juan Capistrano showing the variety 'Snow Flurry' that grows to 10 ft.

These are all available at Bay Natives, one of our associates, in San Francisco.  You can find a list of other nurseries in your area that specialize in native plants in our National Suppliers Directory.

The above listed plants do not appear on any of the following toxic plant lists:

California Poison Control System

Cornell University's Plants Poisonous to Livestock

University of Pennsylvania's Poisonous Plants

Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina

ASCPC:  Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant List - Horses

 

From the Image Gallery


Blueblossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shade Trees for Flagstaff AZ
June 14, 2015 - I live in Flagstaff, AZ and in need of good shade trees all around the house. We live in the Doney Park area (east of Flagstaff) and it is very windy in the spring time. We need the trees for priva...
view the full question and answer

Privacy plantings in Texas
August 16, 2008 - Our home currently has a 4' chain fence. We are a family of 7 with younger aged children and are looking for more privacy. In lieu of a replacement fence, what would you recommend planting to provi...
view the full question and answer

Native plants under trees for privacy barrier in Fairview, TX
April 29, 2009 - I am looking for suggestions on what to plant for a Privacy Barrier. The area in question is a shaded area under a tree line of about 200+ feet long. I am hoping for year round coverage. The canopy...
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for Palm Springs CA
July 04, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Pants I have a 6 foot block wall, and my house is elevated, and I need a privacy hedge or tree (even flowering) to create more privacy. I do not want to use Ficus as I hear they can d...
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

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