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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - October 11, 2010

From: Sag Harbor, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs
Title: Hedge options for Sag Harbor, New York.
Answered by: Leslie Uppinghouse

QUESTION:

Hello, My fiance and I live in Sag Harbor, NY on the East End of Long Island. We would like to plant a hedge across our yard to separate the front and back and have privacy. Here is a picture of the house. We would like a 6-8ft high evergreen hedge to start near the white railings on the porch and go across the yard to our driveway. We were considering Leyland Cypress or even Cherry Laurel (but we found out the laurel has poisonous berrys for dogs) Please help! Jay and Flora

ANSWER:

There are many choices of evergreen shrubs native to your area. They come in all shapes and sizes, and some are better suited for hedging than others. We will work up a search using the recomended spiecies section of the web site. By choosing your state first, then adding further criteria of shrub, sub shrub and tree, you will see that the choices are numerous. From the lists generated you can click on each species to read about their characteristics. Check to make sure it is evergreen, check the size and growing conditions to make sure that it suits Sag Harbor New York. Make sure to check and see if any parts of the plants are poisonous

Something you might want to consider is creating a hedgerow. Hedgerows are a combination of species growing along a line merging together as they grow. This was a common practice for farms. They used these as field boundaries, windbreaks and means of keeping certain wildlife away from plants. For a homeowner a hedgerow allows for variety, privacy, and will actually attract wildlife. For hedgerows offer good nesting habitat and if some of the plants produce berries, food. If chosen and planted with care a hedgerow can reduce the maintenance needed from little to none. Compared to single species hedges which usually require pruning to keep the hedge the height and width you are looking for.

Having one plant for a hedge is a particular look and that might be what you are going for. If not consider the option of combining plants using trees as your base then adding shorter fluffier plants in front of the trees. This may also reduce your cost, as trees are typically more expensive than flowering shrubs.

Below are some species you might want to consider.

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Rhamnus alnifolia (Alderleaf buckthorn)

Rosa palustris (Swamp rose)

Ribes aureum var. villosum (Golden currant)

 


Ilex opaca


Ribes aureum var. villosum


Rosa palustris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Dogwoods Late in Blooming
May 14, 2015 - We are seeing no evidence of flowers on two dogwoods this year. One usually is in bloom now, the other later on in the spring.
view the full question and answer

Moderate-sized trees for lawn in West Virginia
August 10, 2014 - I recently had a landscape design completed by a professional lanscape company. The landscape is sloping down in front of my house. At the corner they included a Sweet Bay Magnolia, which we like ve...
view the full question and answer

Plant Identification from Clarksville TN
May 04, 2013 - We live on a north facing wooded ridge line in Middle TN. I have a single large (6') bush that is blooming now (late April) with beautiful 6" long, end of stem clusters of small pink flowers in 3-5...
view the full question and answer

Planting under Pine Trees in Pocatello ID
April 08, 2014 - Hi I was wondering if you could give me some ideas of what I could plant under and near some pine trees for my area. The trees are huge and so it is also constant shade where I want to plant. Thanks f...
view the full question and answer

Will hybrid Tecoma stans attract hummingbirds from Glendale AZ
July 07, 2012 - We bought a bells of fire plant; would like to know if hummingbirds like them?
view the full question and answer

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