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

Monday - April 15, 2013

From: Charlotte, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Privacy Screen Tree for Patio in NC
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

What is a good tree to plant in front of a brick wall/fence to provide privacy and not compromise the structural integrity of the wall? The brick fence is my neighbors but I need privacy as they can see onto my patio.

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: North Carolina, Habit – Tree, Duration – Perennial, and Leaf Retention – Evergreen. This will give you 37 plants to consider. Next you can narrow down your search further by indicating soil moisture (dry, moist, wet), light requirement (sun, part shade or shade), and size (from your patio you may have to do some simple triangle trigonometry to figure out how high the tree should grow to block your neighbors view.

Some of the native evergreen trees that you might consider from the 12-36 foot high category:

Ilex opaca (American holly). Male and female trees needed if fruiting desired.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon). Male and female trees needed if fruiting desired.

Osmanthus americanus (devilwood). Likes part shade sites.

Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine). This tree needs up to 30 feet in width at maturity.

Prunus angustifolia (chickasaw plum). More dense in full sun sites.

Prunus caroliniana (cherry laurel). Common screening plant for the southeast.

Vaccinium arboretum (farkleberry). Requires part shade and well-drained soil.

 

From the Image Gallery


American holly
Ilex opaca

American holly
Ilex opaca

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Devilwood
Osmanthus americanus

Devilwood
Osmanthus americanus

Virginia pine
Pinus virginiana

Chickasaw plum
Prunus angustifolia

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Farkleberry
Vaccinium arboreum

Farkleberry
Vaccinium arboreum

More Trees Questions

Trees & Shrubs for a NY Slope
July 03, 2012 - Our community has a large steep slope (100'high by at least 600' wide) that is sunny & dry. The builders planted "wild flower seeds" on the slope that is now just weeds. We would like to know what...
view the full question and answer

Is any part of Mountain Laurel poisonous to goats from Belton TX
May 02, 2013 - We are considering planting Mountain Laurel in a field where we keep goats. Will any part of the Mountain Laurel be poisonous if eaten by the goats? If it would be poisonous, could you suggest some o...
view the full question and answer

Need a native pine tree for Austin, TX.
December 21, 2013 - Is there a native pine tree that you would recommend for the Austin, Texas area? We're considering the Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) or the Papershell pinyon (Pinus remota)? Would either of the...
view the full question and answer

Thuja arborvitae not thriving in Austin
November 04, 2010 - I planted 5 giant thuja arborvitae two years ago. They have grown six inches and aren't doing that well. I live in Austin Texas and it was a hot summer. I water them 2x a week, now 1x a week. They a...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
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