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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - May 19, 2013

From: Prosperity, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Trees
Title: Privacy screening from Prosperity SC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need to know what would be a good tree to plant for blocking my neighbor's home it needs to be an evergreen and slender in the space it would take.

ANSWER:

We are a little confused  by your request for a slender tree to block a neighbor's home. It sounds like you are talking about one tree, which is hardly going to block your view of a whole house. You are probably thinking in terms of some sort of a cypress. Of the family Cupreessaceae (Cypress), there are two trees in that family native to South Carolina, Taxodium ascendens (Pond cypress) and Taxodium distichum (Bald cypress). Neither is evergreen.

Before we get too deeply involved in the discussion of tall evergreen plants for privacy concerns, let us refer you to a previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on the same subject, also from South Carolina. Yours, from Newberry County, is fairly close to the referenced area of Greenville County, SC. We believe all the plants on the plant list would work for you, as well, and we hope you will entertain the idea of a mixed privacy garden to distract from the view of the other house, as that will be quicker and more practical than waiting for a tree or trees to get big enough to help.

If you read the instructions on using our Native Plant Database in that question, you can use the database for your own purposes, as you may have different  light requirements and/or soils.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pond cypress
Taxodium ascendens

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

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