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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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Friday - January 09, 2015

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Deer-resistant trees for privacy in Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I need to find a deer resistant tall shrub or tree to plant and hide the deer fence my neighbor just put up on our property line. My property has full sun in parts and mostly shady in other parts and is in very rocky shallow soil.

ANSWER:

You are probably in a hurry, so I recommend Hesperocyparis arizonica (Arizona cypress) as a fast-growing native that provides a good screen.  For shady spots, Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel), a slow grower.  For mostly sunny areas these fairly slow-growing species: Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)(gives a thin screen), Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)(loses leaves in winter), Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) and Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo) (needs full sun to bloom well).

Large specimens of most of these trees are expensive (especially Texas mountain laurel) and grow slowly, so you may need to start with smaller specimens and be patient.  Follow suggested procedures for planting, and plant in winter if possible. Most of the plant nurseries in the Austin area sell at least some of the native species I have mentioned.  I suspect that San Antonio's nurseries also carry them.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Mexican buckeye
Ungnadia speciosa

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Arizona cypress
Hesperocyparis arizonica

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

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