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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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Wednesday - January 07, 2015

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need plants for privacy screen and noise reduction in Dallas.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our backyard is on the north side of our house and is adjacent to the south side of LBJ Freeway (I-635) in Dallas. TXDOT only constructed an 8' concrete wall along our portion of its expanded right-of-way. So, looking for suggestions of plants or trees that will grow to around 10'-12' feet high and eliminate the visible tops of passing trucks, but not much higher so as to not create power line issues. Would also like something that is dense enough to act as a sound barrier at the 8' plus height. Some have suggested bamboo. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

ANSWER:


Mr. Smarty plants often gets inquiries about plants to use for privacy screens and sound barriers. One approach is to introduce you to our Native Plant Data Base where you can search for 8151 species of plants native to North America using common names or scientific names. Using this tool, you can come up with a list of appropriate plants

Click on the link above and use the Combination Search feature. Select Texas under State, Shrubs under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Sun under Light Requirement, Dry under Soil Moisture, and 12 - 36’  under Height. Click the Submit combination Search button, and you will get a list of 11 plant species that fit these criteria. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that contains a description of the plant including growth characteristics, requirements, and in most cases images. You can modify the search by selecting trees under Habit instead of  shrubs, or changing the Light requirement or Soil moisture choices.

Another strategy is to provide you links to previous questions similar to yours.

# 9223

# 6219

In regards to using bamboo see this link. 

 

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