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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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Tuesday - January 26, 2016

From: Cherry Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Privacy Hedge Plant for CA
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

We recently moved into a new home right on the border of Cherry Valley and Beaumont, Ca. We are at an elevation of 2,900 ft. We are looking for a plant that we can use as a privacy hedge along our back yard fence which is 6' high. Ideally, the hedge would end up 8-10 ft high so as to block the view of our neighbors house behind us. In a perfect world, we'd want the hedge to be somewhat compact so as not to spill over the fence (or as little as possible) onto the neighbors side of the fence.

ANSWER:

There are many tall shrubs that you might consider as a privacy hedge along the back of your property. Start at the Native Plant Database and select State = CA, Appearance = Shrub, Light = Sun, Height = 6-12 feet, and Leaf = Evergreen (so that the plant provides year round screening).

This will give you a list of over 30 plants to consider. Taking a look at the individual shrubs, you have choices with different flower color and lots of forms to consider. Some, like Mahonia nevinii (Nevin's barberry) can be pruned to keep it somewhat narrow as you requested.

 

From the Image Gallery


Nevin's barberry
Mahonia nevinii

Lemonade sumac
Rhus integrifolia

Sugar sumac
Rhus ovata

Jojoba
Simmondsia chinensis

Coastal sage scrub oak
Quercus dumosa

Mexican flannelbush
Fremontodendron mexicanum

Red barberry
Mahonia haematocarpa

Tree poppy
Dendromecon rigida



Bush anemone
Carpenteria californica

Greenleaf manzanita
Arctostaphylos patula

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