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

Friday - May 31, 2013

From: Gonzales, CA
Region: California
Topic: Plant Lists, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.

ANSWER:

Let me reference a previous Mr Smarty Plants answer that has some great references for the “what, when, where, and why” of windbreaks. These cover the basic reasons for planting windbreaks, their design, and plant selection.  As you didn't mention more than wanting a windbreak, this may help you focus in your requirements a bit.  A similar discussion was also done by Mr Smarty Plants for a “Windbreak for Eastern Kansas”.

Looking for plant lists for you to consider,  this page from Los Pilitas Nursery addresses California native Windbreak plants.  Mr Smarty Plants also has a set of recommended plants for Northern California. This list can be sorted, so you can choose trees of a good size and/or tall shrubs and get a list of plants to consider. My first choices would tend to be plants that the Wildflower Center recommends which are also on the Los Pilitas list.

Several reasonable choices appear on both lists including Amelanchier alnifolia (Saskatoon serviceberry), Arctostaphylos densiflora (Vine hill manzanita), Arctostaphylos manzanita (Whiteleaf manzanita), Ceanothus impressus (Santa barbara ceanothus), Heteromeles arbutifolia (Toyon), Mahonia pinnata (Wavyleaf barberry).  I noticed that few of the taller trees were on the nursery list, ones on both lists included Pinus radiata (Monterey pine) and Prunus ilicifolia (Hollyleaf cherry).  Several Oaks and even taller trees can be found on the Wildflower Center recommended list. Pay attention to the range and characteristics of the species; that will help you make choices that will do well on your property.

 

From the Image Gallery


Saskatoon serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia

Santa barbara ceanothus
Ceanothus impressus

Toyon
Heteromeles arbutifolia

California live oak
Quercus agrifolia

Balsam fir
Abies concolor

California laurel
Umbellularia californica

More Shrubs Questions

Noise reduction hedge from Austin
April 17, 2013 - Noise reduction hedge row in Austin. We back up to a very busy street and need a fast growing noise barrier. In a similar post for the Houston area, you recommended Gordonia lasianthus -loblolly bay. ...
view the full question and answer

Did Mexican fire bush (Hamelia patens) survive winter cold?
May 05, 2010 - I have a Mexican fire bush that I planted last spring and it bloomed beautifully last summer. It browned and we cut it back to the ground. Right now it's showing no signs of life and I'm afraid it m...
view the full question and answer

Identification of small shrub
May 27, 2007 - Need an identity of a small bush, probably native . There is only a single limb sticking out of a large dense evergreen holly. It is deciduous, has opposite ovate entire simple leaves, and clusters o...
view the full question and answer

Is Viburnum opulus var. americana (Viburnum trilobum) Self-fertile?
April 02, 2014 - I am trying to attract birds to my Chicago area yard and I believe I have good conditions to grow highbush cranberry (Viburnum trilobum). My question is about the need for cross pollination. The liter...
view the full question and answer

How to deal with suckers on Flame-leaf Sumac
May 20, 2013 - Hi! It seems you can have too much of a good thing! Our flameleaf sumac is taking over our yard. There are multiple shoots appearing in our flower beds and in the lawn. How do I get rid of the unwante...
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