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
1 rating

Saturday - May 04, 2013

From: Temecula, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Grasses or Grass-like, Herbs/Forbs, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy screen from Temecula CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.

ANSWER:

Before we begin, let us give you some caveats (that means we can't do everything you want us to)

1.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but also to the area in which those plants have evolved; in your case, Riverside County in extreme Southern California.  This helps ensure that plants chosen are already accustomed to climate, soils and rainfall when you plant them.

2. Fast-growing woody plants (trees and shrubs) tend to be short-lived. The speed of growth can depend on the amount of sunlight, the soil and temperature.

3. Completely blocking out a view would probably take years to achieve. We suggest a group of different types of plants, with different heights and textures, to distract the eye and focus on the attractiveness of the plants nearer the viewer.

4. Around pool areas, any plant, trees especially, are going to tend to drop a lot of stuff into the water. Also, tree roots can get into foundations, paving and even the structure of the pool, potentially causing cracking and damage.

Let us suggest you go to the website of Las Pilitas in Escondido. Here is their mission statement:

"All we grow are native plants.

The Escondido nursery grows primarily for the San Diego, Riverside, Orange, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. We have some desert native plants, mountain plants and a lot of chaparral and coastal sage scrub plants. Which means, we have Manzanita, Ceanothus, Salvia, Buckwheat, California Fuchsia and many other native plants."

This means that they probably have more plants that will work in your garden than we do in our database. They specialize in your area. They probably have some of the mature specimens  of plants you are considering, and they believe in plants native to the area, just like we do.

 

 

More Grasses or Grass-like Questions

Plants to grow in shady area near a pecan tree in Maryland
March 26, 2013 - I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. I have planted only natives in my front lawn. My backyard, which sports a pecan tree, fir, fig tree, and others I can't identify is dirt, just dirt. I have...
view the full question and answer

Illinois native grasses for shade
June 27, 2013 - Hello, my grass has died in a very shady area (standard buffalo grass), and I took this as an opportunity to plant some native grass varieties. I originally thought of buffalo grass, but learned that ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering native plants for Bastrop, TX
February 20, 2009 - What type of flowering plants, trees,and bushes will grow in Bastrop, Texas? I see lots of things around, please help, have never done before.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive bermudagrass from Memphis TN
August 17, 2012 - I live in central Memphis and have well-drained clay soil. I have converted much of the front yard from turf grass to beds of native plants, which survive our hot humid without supplemental watering e...
view the full question and answer

Trimming inland sea oats from Waco TX
January 30, 2013 - Re: Inland Sea Oats and trimming back in early spring "It passes through most of winter a soft brown, but becomes tattered and gray by February, a good time to cut it back to the basal rosette." ...
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