Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 08, 2008

From: Sioux Falls, SD
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Privacy hedge for South Dakota
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I'm looking for something to use as a hedge. 8 foot or so tall offering semi privacy all year. I like dogwoods but loss of leaves in the winter makes me skeptical. Boxwood would be interesting but only 2 feet tall. Any suggestions? I have an area up to about 8 feet wide and 100 feet long. Thanks - Sioux Falls, SD

ANSWER:

There aren't many choices for small evergreen shrubs/trees native to South Dakota except for pines, junipers and spruces, which in their native state grow quite tall. However, many of these have cultivars or varieties that have been developed that grow to a smaller size and could work as evergreen shrubs.

1. There are several cultivars of Picea glauca (white spruce) that are termed 'dwarf' that could work (e.g., 'Conica' or "Dwarf Alberta Spruce", 'Pixie' and 'Rainbow's End').

2. Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper) also has cultivars that are shorter (e.g., 'Welchii' and 'Medora').

There is also the Cercocarpus montanus (alderleaf mountain mahogany), which is described as having almost-evergreen leaves, which I assume means it holds on to its leaves longer than most deciduous trees or it is evergreen in milder climates such as Virginia.


Juniperus scopulorum

Cercocarpus montanus

 

 

More Trees Questions

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Will a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4' brick planter. pl
September 14, 2015 - Would a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4'x4' brick planter with a drain at the bottom? It will get full sun all day. If not, would a Green Cloud Sage or a Waxleaf Myrtle work? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Oak Selection in Austin
September 11, 2010 - The City of Austin is offering me two free trees to plant in my front yard. I live on the limestone shelf that is Northwest Austin, with only a few inches of topsoil that was brought in by the home b...
view the full question and answer

Life expectancy for Carolina buckthorn (Frangula caroliniana)
February 25, 2008 - Someone recently told me that Carolina buckthorn only lives 4-5 years and I'm wondering if that is true. I had a nice one (on Blackland) that died suddenly in its fourth or fifth year, during the dr...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mexican Olive tree from Edinburg TX
October 06, 2013 - My Mexican olive (anacahuita) shows no obvious signs of pest or disease, but over the last years has more and more dead limbs and smaller and smaller leaves. It's in a yard with a sprinkler system t...
view the full question and answer

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