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

Thursday - April 11, 2013

From: Kenosha, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Replacement evergreens under power line in Wisconsin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have to replace evergreen trees in a privacy screen due to borer damage. The screen is below power lines so the replacements cannot be tall. I would like use bird and pollinator friendly replacements that are evergreens. I am in Kenosha, Wisconsin. The soil is good with no drainage issues. Thank you

ANSWER:

MGE (Madison Gas & Electric) has a brochure, Power Planting—How to Select and Plant Trees Near Power Lines, with guidelines for planting trees near and under power lines.  The brochure gives recommendations for various trees; but you should be aware that many of their recomendations are NOT native plants.  However, under their "Evergreens", they have recommendations for two Wisconsin native trees with information about several smaller cultivars for each.

MGE also has a Tree Choice and Care page where you can search for trees native to Wisconsin that are evergreen.  On the "Advanced Search" page I selected Tree Names and Cultivars, Evergreen, and Native to WI.  For the other choices I left it at "Any" except for Sun where I selected "Full Sun, Partial Shade and Shade" and Plant Type, "Trees and Shrubs".  Here are the other trees, in addtion to Eastern red cedar and arborvitae, that resulted from the search:

You can do a similar search in our Native Plant Database using COMBINATION SEARCH and choosing "Wisconsin" from Select State or Province, "Tree" from Habit (general appearance) and "Evergreen" from Leaf Characteristics.  This will give you several other choices that are either very large, slow-growing trees with few (or no) dwarf varieites available and one—Juniperus communis (Common juniper)—low-growing variety.  There is also one tree that is not a Gymnosperm, Maclura pomifera (Osage orange).  It now grows in southern Wisconsin but probably originated in Arkansas and/or Texas and is not really a good candidate for your screening hedge.

All the trees suggested above are Gymosperms and, as such, are non-flowering plants that are typically wind pollinated.   Birds, however, are attracted to them for their cones for food and for shelter in their branches.  Eastern hemlock also is described as attracting butterflies and moths.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Arborvitae
Thuja occidentalis

Eastern hemlock
Tsuga canadensis

Eastern white pine
Pinus strobus

More Trees Questions

Does Chilopsis linearis, var.Bubba produce seed pods? No.
October 01, 2007 - We have a really beautiful 2-year old Bubba, Desert Willow. It is already about 12 feet tall. I really have two questions. One does the Bubba form the seed pods like the other types of Desert Willows?...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen for barn from Washington TX
April 27, 2013 - We live on a large ranch and have someone now next to us that built a barn on our fence line that we want to make a tree barrier to hide it, so we need to plant trees that will grow at least 15-29 fee...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin
May 02, 2010 - I have an adult (over 25 years?, 20 feet tall?) Mountain Laurel next to my house in Austin. The winter of 2009/10 it lost most of its leaves. It did bloom and leaf out this Spring--not vigorous espec...
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