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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - September 20, 2010

From: Clermont, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Tree or shrub for acoustical protection in Clermont FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What type of tree or shrub would be best to lower the db level of freeway noise in Central Florida? I live about 3/4 of a mile from a freeway but due to the wind and hills it causes the noise to bounce around and enter my backyard.

ANSWER:

We are gardeners, not acoustical engineers, but we do know how severe that problem can be. To answer the question "What will help control noise?" The answer is "something dense." So far as we know, there is no decibel standard for plants, at least not yet, so we will help you look in our Native Plant Database for a shrub or tree that will at least help. No doubt, the freeway is used year-round, so you probably need something everygreen. Clermont, in Lake County, Florida seems to be in USDA Hardiness Zone 9a, so we will be looking at the genus Ilex (holly) and also Magnolia. Both of these are native to Florida, evergreen, have dense leaves, the yaupon with small leaves and the magnolia with large. They can also both be trimmed up into tree form or left as a shrub. Follow the plant link on each one to find out what kind of light (sun, part shade or shade), watering and other requirements these plants need to flourish.

Sound Barrier Plants for Clermont FL:

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Ilex glabra (Inkberry)

Ilex myrtifolia (Myrtle dahoon)

Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia)

Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Ilex vomitoria


 

 

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