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

Sunday - April 14, 2013

From: Massapequa, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: New York, Habit - Shrub, Duration – Perennial, Leaf Retention – Evergreen, and Height Specifics – 6-12 ft. You can narrow down this search further by indicating light requirement (sun, part shade or shade), and soil moisture (dry, moist or wet).

Five plants were selected that you might consider:

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Jumiperus communis var. depressa (common juniper)

Leucothoe fontanesiana (drooping leucothoe). While drooping leucothoe is a great plant, it is a bit too open in its growth habit and may not make a total screening privacy hedge.

Mahonia aquifolium (hollyleaved barberry)

Taxus canadensis (American yew)

Follow each plant link to our webpage for that plant to learn its growing conditions, bloom time, etc. At the bottom of each plant webpage, under Additional Resources, there is a link to the USDA webpage for that plant. Take a look there for more specific details about suitability before you put them on your final planting list. Think about including plants that have interest during a variety of seasons and that have more than one attractive feature (flower, fruit, foliage, bark, etc.) so you can get more benefits out of your privacy hedge.

Lastly, take your list of potential plants and compare them to the ASPCA list of plants toxic and non-toxic to dogs. This list is organized by scientific and common name.

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Highland doghobble
Leucothoe fontanesiana

Hollyleaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Hollyleaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Hollyleaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Hollyleaved barberry
Mahonia aquifolium

Canada yew
Taxus canadensis

More Privacy Screening Questions

Shrub to screen backyard and block noise
March 14, 2009 - I'm trying to find a shrub to screen my backyard and block noise. I want something I can plant along the 60ft of my back fence that would get between 8 and 10 ft tall. I would like something that att...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub with dense base for screen in Austin
November 11, 2010 - I just bought a house in Austin and am looking for an evergreen shrub to use as a thick hedge between my elevated yard and a bus stop. The only shrubs I can come up with tend to get thin toward the b...
view the full question and answer

Trees and shrubs in Wisconsin
July 30, 2009 - I live in Hudson, WI, just across the border from Minn/St Paul and would like to create a privacy screen between my front yard and my neighbors yard. Right now it's full sun, but I want to plant a c...
view the full question and answer

Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
April 02, 2010 - My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block o...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for privacy screen in Austin
March 11, 2008 - I would like some suggestions for plants to form a privacy screen between our backyard and our neighbor's. The site is shady, under old Texas Ash and pecan trees, and is located in North central Aust...
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