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
1 rating

Friday - May 01, 2009

From: Volente, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Evergreen tree for privacy screen
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live out in the hill country in Volente, TX. I'm looking for a fast growing, native evergreen tree variety that would make a good privacy screen. I don't want a hedge, but I do want to replace a bunch of Cedar trees that providing a screen now. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

For an evergreen native tree that acts as a privacy screen, Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't think you could do much better than Juniperus ashei (Ashe's juniper).   You can prune and trim them to any shape you want if they have gotten too large.  If you have male trees that are producing lots of pollen, then remove those and leave the female trees with their berries for the birds.  But, you may just not like our native juniper and that is why you are removing them.  Fair enough—there are other choices!  You didn't say exactly how tall of a tree you wanted, but here are some suggestions and their maximum heights:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) 12-25 feet.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) 8-12 feet.

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) up to 8 feet.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) 6-12 feet, generally, but can reach 20 feet.

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) 15-20 feet and here are more photos.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) up to 30 feet.

There are always the live oaks, Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak) at 20-40 feet or a different juniper, Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) at 30-40 feet, usually, but can reach 90 feet.


Juniperus ashei

Ilex vomitoria

Rhus virens

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Prunus caroliniana

Sophora secundiflora

Quercus fusiformis

Juniperus virginiana

 

 

 

 

 

More Privacy Screening Questions

Native evergreen trees or shrubs for privacy screen in South Carolina
April 02, 2008 - 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 o...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen screening tree for Wichita Falls TX
November 25, 2015 - Recommendations for a screen plant. Dry. full sun. 20 to 30 ft.high. evergreen. Wichita Falls, TX location.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Privacy Hedge for Long Island
June 29, 2012 - I live on Long Island and want a privacy evergreen hedge partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Privacy Trees for Pleasanton, CA
April 30, 2014 - I was looking for some fast growing trees for my backyard that backs up to Valley Ave in Pleasanton, Ca. The city just cut down 4 Redwoods behind me and there is so much noise from the traffic now Ca...
view the full question and answer

Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
April 14, 2013 - Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.
view the full question and answer

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