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 27, 2011

From: Portland, OR
Region: Northwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: A nice-looking, fast-growing privacy hedge for Oregon
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Would you please suggest a fast growing option to create a privacy hedge? I need to get my husband off the boxwoods he is touting.. The ideal solution would grow to 8 feet high, look interesting all year round, and produce nuts or fruit that distract the birds from the cherry, quince and fig trees growing along that side of the yard. Many thanks!

ANSWER:

It is hard to find the perfect plant for your requirements, mainly because the beautiful ones which come to mind are generally rather slow-growing.  I might suggest Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae), also called Western Red Cedar (see attached photo of hedged plants).  This evergreen grows moderately fast and is sometimes trimmed and used as a privacy hedge.  If left alone it grows into a tall tree.  Another possibility is Alnus rhombifolia (White alder) (see attached photo).  This is a fast growing tree but is deciduous.  You might consider planting white alders and , behind or among them, slower-growing species such as Vaccinium ovatum (California huckleberry) (see description by Washington Native Plant Society) or Morella californica (California wax myrtle) (see attached photographs).  When the alders grow too tall cut them down and the evergreen species will be large enough to give you privacy plus some food for your birds.  Or plant among them Rhododendron macrophyllum (Pacific rhododendron) for showy spring blossoms.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pacific rhododendron
Rhododendron macrophyllum

More Privacy Screening Questions

Need plant suggestions for a 700' long privacy screen in Wimberley, TX.
May 27, 2011 - I live in Wimberley. Tx Dot has ruined 700' of my side yard's (& back yard's) privacy by clearing all the plants/trees that had grown up in their right of way adjacent to our property. They're als...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub/small tree for screen in southern California
August 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants - I would like to find an evergreen hedge, ~15-20' (or so) to screen a busy road (noise and visual). I'm zone 8b - 92539 (close to) - light snow in winter (to -25) and can ge...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy screen 8 feet or less
January 29, 2016 - In needing to plant an evergreen privacy screen, what is the tallest Ceniza variety? I'm having great difficulty finding an evergreen hedge material 8' or less. After having taken a class in pla...
view the full question and answer

Need recommendations for privacy screen in Richmond, VA
February 27, 2013 - Hello, I read through the previous posts on privacy screen plantings in the Mid Atlantic region. There was a lot of great information, but I has a specific question that was not answered. I would li...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant screening evergreens for CT
April 07, 2010 - I live in Connecticut, in a predominantly wooded environment. I am looking for a recommendation for a great screening tree, which I can use to block a view of Neighbors behind me. It would need to b...
view the full question and answer

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