En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - June 26, 2013

From: Winston-Salem, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Privacy Screening of House Next Door in NC
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

Hello, I live in the house my parents bought in 1971 in Winston-Salem, NC. The house beside me is an eyesore and for sale at a very low price. I am afraid the condition of the house and yard next door will continue to deteriorate or I may end up with undesirable neighbors. I need to put up a privacy screen between my driveway and the yard next door ASAP (hopefully before the house next door sells). What kind of tree or bush grows best for my area, hopefully something fast growing that will provide a good privacy screen? The area is in partial sun.

ANSWER:

The first place to go to find a list of potential plants for your privacy screen 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: State – North Carolina, Habit – tree, shrub, Duration – perennial, Leaf Retention – semi-evergreen and evergreen, Light Requirement – part shade, Soil Moisture – moist, Size – 12-36 ft. You can narrow down this search further by indicating blooming time and bloom color too if you like.
These search criteria will give you several trees and shrubs to consider then you will have to look at the ultimate width to see if they will fit in your space, how dense of a plant you need, and how tall they have to be to screen your view. 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.

Some trees and shrubs to consider:

Ilex coriacea (large gallberry)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (myrtle dahoon)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (Southern red-cedar)

Leucothoe fontanesiana (drooping leucothoe)

Lyonia lucida (fetterbush lyonia)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Osmanthus americanus (devilwood)

Rhododendron maximum (great laurel)

Prunus caroliniana (cherry laurel)

Taxus canadensis (Canada yew) 

 

From the Image Gallery


Inkberry
Ilex glabra

Myrtle dahoon
Ilex myrtifolia

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Highland doghobble
Leucothoe fontanesiana

Fetterbush lyonia
Lyonia lucida

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

American olive
Osmanthus americanus

American olive
Osmanthus americanus

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Trees Questions

Amendments for faster-growing trees from Bulverde TX
July 04, 2010 - What faster growing trees will grow in black gumbo clay that is about 12 inches deep above caliche rock in full sun with a sprinkler system set on 1 inch/week? How many and how much amendments such...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen
August 08, 2012 - Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
view the full question and answer

Spot for communion and tree planting on Long Island
February 20, 2012 - I'm planning to combine my son's communion and a tree planting memorial for his uncle/godfather that passed on Valentine's Day. I'm looking for a venue on Long Island that can combine both on May ...
view the full question and answer

Trouble with live oak in McKinney, TX
June 13, 2013 - We moved into a suburban home with a live oak tree with a trunk diameter of about 50". I noticed recently how yellow the leaves look compared to the other live oak in the yard. There is not a pattern...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center