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 - April 02, 2010

From: Holly, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Blocking out noise from pond pump in Holly MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My neighbor has a motor for his pond pump that faces my backyard--it is extremely loud and irritating after listening to it for 5 hours or more. Is there any type of shrub that I can plant to block out some of the noise? Thanks

ANSWER:

Is this something that has just been put in, or you just moved in and discovered it? It would seem possible that there could be some sort of zoning regulations that would require the owner of the pump to do something to abate the noise. If you happen to live in a Homeowner's Association, you should certainly go to their Board and ask about the noise.  Have you talked to the owners of the pump? They may be unaware of the noise level because of where it is placed; perhaps it needs adjustment or the bearings need servicing.  We certainly can, and will, see if we can find a shrub that would help with the noise; however, you would probably need something evergreen, which could be a little hard to find in Michigan. The problem is, the farther the barrier is from the source of noise, the less effective it is going to be, and you will have to plant a lot of shrubs. If it can be done, it would be much better to have the sound barrier around the noise source than on your property line.

From the Michigan Township Association, we found a list of Anti-Noise Regulations which included this one:

"12. The operation of any machinery, equipment or mechanical device so as to emit unreasonably loud noise which is disturbing to the quiet, comfort or repose of any person."


Whether your town has this set of ordinances in effect, we have no idea, but you should certainly check with local authorities. Now, on to your original request, for some shrubs that might help block that noise. We found 3 that are evergreen and native to your USDA Hardiness Zone of 6a to 6b, in Oakland County. Follow each plant link to our webpage on that plant for more information on height, water and light needs, etc. Unfortunately, none of these are very tall, and would therefore probably block the noise better planted around the pump than on your property.

Evergreen Shrubs for Sound Barrier in Holly, MI:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper) - more information and pictures

Ilex mucronata (catberry) - more information and pictures

 

From the Image Gallery


Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

More Shrubs Questions

Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
June 28, 2007 - Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
view the full question and answer

Roses or other flowering plants for Coleman, Texas
March 10, 2009 - I want to plant native roses at a country home in Coleman Co., southern exposure, with well water, drip system,but ,hot, dry & windy! I know the Mutabilis does well in Austin, but, is it suitable for...
view the full question and answer

Cold Hardy Hibiscus for Central Texas
April 18, 2015 - What variety of Hibiscus is cold hardy for Central Texas?
view the full question and answer

Small shrub to plant in Austin Texas
March 11, 2009 - Hi.. I live in Southwest Austin and I am looking for a shrub that I can plant against the back of my house, which faces the north. I want something native, fairly low maintenance and not too large,...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area around pool in Plano, Texas
October 13, 2009 - I just built an in ground pool in Plano, Texas and now want to landscape around it on my own. I am curious what plants/shrubs you recommend. There will be plants/shrubs on three sides of the pool. ...
view the full question and answer

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