Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
5 ratings

Wednesday - April 02, 2008

From: Johnston, SC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native evergreen trees or shrubs for privacy screen in South Carolina
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, we recently lost a grove of eleven 30+ year old white pine trees in a storm this month. They provided a natural 42'x30' screen to the front of our property and home. What type of fast growing (8+ foot) evergreen trees or shrubs would you recommend as replacements? I was considering layering a combination of magnolias and possibly Carolina Silverbells to the house side of the evergreens. We live in USDA Zone 7, Elevation 550', heavy red clay under 2-4" sandy loam topsoil, with high heat and humidity. We do have irrigation to that area. Thank you for your assistance and your web site.

ANSWER:

We're assuming you did not want to replace the trees you lost with more Pinus strobus (eastern white pine). They are a very fine native tree, but if you feel they might come down again in another storm, we'll see if we can find something else appropriate. The need for evergreen species does narrow the field, and we found ourselves considering more pines, junipers, hollies, etc.

If we understand you correctly, your intent is to palnt another screen of trees and/or shrubs at the front of your home, with magnolias, possibly Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) or Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay), and Halesia carolina (Carolina silverbell) in the space between the house and the screening trees. These are all North American natives, which is what we recommend at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, and all three are natively distributed in South Carolina. Since we don't know the dimensions of your property, we would recommend that you become aware of the mature dimensions of these trees, so you don't get a "grove", cutting off natural light and air circulation around your house. Follow each plant link to a webpage of information on that plant from our Native Plant Database; then, at the bottom of that webpage, there will be a link saying "Search Google for (Name of Plant)". That will take you to a lot more information than we have room for in our webpages. You can do the same with the following lists of shrubs and trees, and hopefully come up with a plan for replacemeny of your previous planting of Pinus strobus (eastern white pine). All of these are also native to South Carolina and should do well under the conditions you have described.

TREES

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) - produces a pollen that is a major allergen

Pinus palustris (longleaf pine)

SHRUBS

Ilex ambigua (Carolina holly)

Ilex glabra (inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (myrtle dahoon)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

Morella caroliniensis (southern bayberry) - Images


Magnolia grandiflora

Magnolia virginiana

Halesia carolina

Juniperus virginiana

Pinus palustris

Ilex ambigua

Ilex glabra

Ilex myrtifolia

Ilex opaca

Ilex vomitoria

Morella cerifera


 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Privacy screen for garden and pool in California
October 13, 2008 - I need a fast growing screen for privacy. Here are the issues:1. we have a 3 story apartment building looking right into our backyard. so trees need to be at least 15' tall and dense. 2. we have a po...
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge plant for Phoenix, Arizona.
March 19, 2010 - Hi, Can you tell me what would be a good plant or shrub to block one side of an unsightly 6ft high wrought iron pool fence, and create some privacy. It would be full sun and the hot temperature of P...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
view the full question and answer

Plants to augment a privacy fence in Virginia Beach.
February 24, 2009 - I live in Virginia Beach, VA and I have a small back yard about 75 ft deep and 60 ft wide. We have a six ft privacy fence but still have many undesirable views over the fence I would love to block out...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs for a screen in DC
May 05, 2011 - Live in Washington DC vicinity (zones: 7-8). Looking for hardy shrubs to screen a 47 foot long picket fence and provide barrier to neighbor. It is western exposure with sun light. Ideally evergreen, d...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.