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
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

Hedge to cover chain link fence
September 04, 2010 - Hi, I would like to hide 250 feet of 6' tall chain link fence on a western facing, sloped, very rocky soiled back yard I had to use a jack hammer to dig the holes. Esthetically I would like to be abl...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen vine for St. Paul MN
June 17, 2010 - I am looking for a native vine that will stay green, or at least keep its leaves, throughout the winter. The vine will be grown on a trellis between our house and our neighbor's, and we want to keep...
view the full question and answer

Screen plants to replace non-native Chinese raintrees in Marble Falls, TX
February 15, 2010 - Five four year old Koelreuteria bipinnata (Chinese Rain) trees were mistakenly cut to the ground. They were planted fairly close together, perhaps ten feet apart. The purpose for them was to provide a...
view the full question and answer

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