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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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Saturday - February 28, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen shrub for Austin TX
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I am wanting an evergreen shrub 6-8 ft tall to use as a screen in our backyard. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

There are several evergreen shrubs that should fill the bill for you.  The problem is that commercially available ones of that height are expensive.  And most of my recommendations are rather slow growing.  Among the faster growers are Leucophyllum frutescens (Cenizo), which blooms best in full sun, Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) and Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle).  Also consider Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) and Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel), a staple in East Texas that should grow well in Austin.  And then there is old faithful, Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper), our fast-growing local cedar that would provide quick privacy if you don't have a probem with "cedar fever".   Most of these shrubs should  be available at your local nurseries. For tips on planting shrubs, read this article.  This is an excellent time for planting.  But don't wait much longer.

 

From the Image Gallery


Cenizo
Leucophyllum frutescens

Evergreen sumac
Rhus virens

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

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