Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - February 07, 2011

From: Reisterstown, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Planting, Shrubs
Title: Need replacements for old arborvitaes destroyed by snow and ice in Reisterstown, MD.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Our big old arborvitaes have been destroyed by snow and ice. Rather than a fence we would like to use plants/bushes for privacy. We live in zip 21136. This would extend all across the back property line. The soil is just normal for the area. Deer resistant and native are preferable. Help!

ANSWER:

One possibility is to replace the old with the new, arborvitae that is. The Arbovitae that is native in the northeast is Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae), but from what I've read, deer seem to love it. This link from North Dakota State University Extension  has a plethora of questions and answers about growing Arborvitae.

What are the alternatives? Lets go to the Native Plant Database and check it out. After clicking on the link, scroll down to the Combination Search Box, and make the following selections: choose Maryland under State, Shrub under Habit, and Perrenial under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement, and Dry under Soil moisture. Click the "Submit combination Search" button and you will get a list of 34 native species occurring in Maryland that meet these parameters. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN database page that contains the plant's characteristics, its growth requirements as well as pictures.

I did the search and came up with these possibilities.

Elaeagnus commutata (Silverberry)

Rhus aromatica (Fragrant sumac)   highly deer resistant

Rhus copallinum (Winged sumac)

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush blueberry)

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar)  highly deer resistant Dwarf varieties are available

The plant you select depends on the growing conditions at your particular location, and perhaps your neighbors. For some help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Baltimore County office of University of Maryland Extension.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Low-Maintenance Hedge for Massachusetts
February 17, 2014 - I want to put in a native low-maintenance hedge in a sunny spot with plants that can take dry soil. I would like the plants to grow to less than 4 feet wide. It can be an informal hedge, but I don't ...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
view the full question and answer

Will ceanothus grow in West Texas from Midland TX
August 17, 2013 - re: Ceanothus - you have two ceanothus in your data base. Will any of those grow in West Texas? (southern exposure, full sun)? Will any of the California native ceanothus grow in West Texas?
view the full question and answer

Eight Foot Screen for Austin, TX
September 01, 2011 - I'm looking for a fast-growing shrub to "extend" the height of my fence and provide privacy in my yard in Austin. My lot is pretty much full sun and very dry, mostly clay soil. 8' is my goal. Than...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant privacy plants for Flagstaff AZ
March 19, 2013 - We need a fast growing drought tolerant tree that will grow in Flagstaff AZ/Parks AZ. Neighbors are hoarders and we want privacy fence to cover the mess. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
view the full question and answer

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