En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - October 19, 2012

From: Kneeland, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Evergreen for privacy screen in Northern California
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, My neighbor just logged their property and we need a very quick growing evergreen shrub/tree (for privacy of ugly cabin) that grows to at least 10' -15' tall. We live in northern Cal. about 3 miles from the ocean at 1300' in elevation. Rain 40-60" annually, area for privacy screen is mostly shaded. Redwood forest. Coastal fog frequently in early summer but then Indian summers in late August thru mid October when temps climb into the 80's. Please help, they have put up a privacy screen fence (literally you can see thru it) which does absolutely nothing. Thanks

ANSWER:

Here are three possibilities for evergreen shrubs for your privacy screening.   All three are native and are found in Humboldt County:

Ceanothus thyrsiflorus (Blue blossom) is a fast grower to 20 feet and is evergreen with blue blossoms in the spring.   It grows in sun or part shade.  You can read what Yerba Buena Nursery near Woodside and Bay Natives in San Francisco say about it.

Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon) can grow to 20 feet high but usually grows to only about 8 feet.  It is fast-growing and evergreen and will grow in sun and part shade. Here is more information from Las Pilitas Nursery in Santa Margarita and Escondido and Theodore Payne Foundation Nursery in Sun Valley.

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) will grow in shade or part shade up to 25 feet and has very showy flowers.  Here is more information from the Washington Native Plant Society and Woodbrook Native Plant Nursery in Gig Harbor, WA.

 

From the Image Gallery


Blueblossom
Ceanothus thyrsiflorus

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

Pacific rhododendron
Rhododendron macrophyllum

More Trees Questions

Privacy screening from Prosperity SC
May 19, 2013 - I need to know what would be a good tree to plant for blocking my neighbor's home it needs to be an evergreen and slender in the space it would take.
view the full question and answer

Transplant rootbound tree now from Kerrville TX
June 10, 2012 - I purchased a Blanco Crabapple tree. Should I plant it now or wait until Fall? (It is currently rootbound.) Second question: Our Mountain Laurel has a dead trunk and one trunk has already died. I c...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a black walnut from Lansing MI
October 04, 2012 - What native plants can you recommend that will grow in Michigan under a mature black walnut tree?
view the full question and answer

Would mountain ash (Sorbus sp.) grow in Michigan?
June 01, 2009 - I live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan between Cedarville (Lake Huron) and Sault Ste. Marie (Lake Superior.) We would like to plant a Mountian Ash because we love birds and they love the berries an...
view the full question and answer

Damaged Shumard oak tree in Polk County Texas
July 24, 2010 - I have a native Shumard Red Oak on our property in Polk County Texas that suffered damage (top blown out) during Hurricane Ike. Last year, one side of the tree browned early while the other side stay...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center