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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.

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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.

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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!

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Sunday - October 12, 2008

From: Crockett, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Native evergreens for privacy in Crockett, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I need advice on what tall evergreens I can plant along a fence line for privacy. I need trees that will be at minimum 8 to 10 feet tall at maturity, are aesthetically pleasing and provide privacy.

ANSWER:

We are going to suggest native plants for your privacy fence, because that's what we do at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Read our How-To Article on Using Native Plants to find out how much better for the environment it is to do so, and also that plants native to the area in which they are being grown will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance, because they are already adapted to the conditions there.

Although you mentioned trees, we are going to suggest shrubs. Most trees will get much taller than the height you are looking for, and most shrubs will tend to be denser for privacy and grow to about the right height.If you cannot find the one you select at a regular commercial nursery, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants in your general area. We would recommend that you do your planting in the Fall or late Winter, while the plants are semi-dormant. Here is a list of suggestions for your purpose; follow the link to the individual webpage on each plant for information.

Gordonia lasianthus (loblolly bay)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)


Gordonia lasianthus

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex opaca

Morella cerifera
 

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