Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

From: Blaine, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Soils, Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Evergreen hedge for constant rain
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing the dead ones. Need a better solution, the soil has clay a foot or two below surface. We need this for privacy and a little sound barrier wouldn't hurt. Prefer evergreen. Was even told to try bamboo, but its invasive, neighbors are noisy and a pain but wouldn't want to over take both yards with it.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants definitely wouldn't recommend using bamboo since it is not native to North America and what we are all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes". We do, however, have some suggestions for evergreens that should do very well in your constant rain.

Gaultheria shallon (salal) This is an understory tree that works well in landscaping in the Northwest. In full sun it stays small (1-3 feet), but in shade it will grow much taller (up to 16 feet). Here is more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) also grows taller in the shade. Here is more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Vaccinium ovatum (California huckleberry) with photos and more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.

Morella californica (syn. Myrica californica) (California wax myrtle) with photos and more information from the Washington Native Plant Society.


Gaultheria shallon

Rhododendron macrophyllum

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Planting time for non-natives in Irving TX
February 07, 2012 - Have dwarf nandinas and two lorapetalums that I want to transplant. Can I do it now February 6th 2012?
view the full question and answer

Why is non-native peach tree not going dormant in Owensville IN
December 19, 2011 - I have a peach tree I grew from a peach pit. It is about 2 years old. I planted the tree in my yard this summer. It is now about 3' tall. My problem is it is not going dormant. We have had several fr...
view the full question and answer

Why are our Euphorbia myrsinites plants dying in Soquel, CA?
August 02, 2010 - Some of our Euphorbia myrsinites die in our garden for reasons we cannot understand. Do you have any explanation or suggest area we should be looking for?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native fruit trees in Katy TX
May 13, 2010 - I have several species of fruit trees growing. pear, lime, orange, pluot, plum, variegated orange, peach, lemon all planted in ground, some this year and some last year: My lemon (approx 15 gallon) an...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Tree of Heaven in Central Texas?
April 07, 2011 - Has Ailanthus altissima been reported in Central Texas? I think we have found a few growing right here in Austin amongst a stand of cedars at a residential property off of 1826 (near where 1826 hits ...
view the full question and answer

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