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 - June 06, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Privacy Screening
Title: Privacy hedge that can be trimmed
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

Please help us find a screening plant or tree (preferably native and evergreen with flowering and/or berries) which is non-invasive, not a vine, at least six feet tall if not taller, which can be easily shaped or trimmed without harm. We have a six foot tall bull-wire fence and the neighbors will want to cut the plant close to the fence on their side. We will want to keep it thick on our side. Our planting area is about two feet wide and borders our drive. Thank you so much!

ANSWER:

Here are a few suggestions that should satisfy your requirements.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)  It is evergreen, has pretty red berries and makes a good wildlife plant. It is a great plant to use in a hedge because it grows dense and twiggy.  But it grows slowly so you would have to be very patient.  You need male and female plants to have berries.  But you can usually only buy female plants. These are pretty drought tolerant after they get established but like a little more water than some others.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)This is a fast growing solution.  It is also a draw for the little myrtle warblers.  It will grow as a large shrub and can be trimmed.  It is evergreen and requires male and female plants to make the fragrant berries. Once established, it is drought and flood tolerant.

 Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) is a beautiful, fast-growing evergreen that is used for windbreaks.  It grows 30-40 feet tall and 15 -20 feet wide.  It might be too large for your space, but it is often used as a screen

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) This tree can also be used as a screen, especially if you choose one of the varieties well suited for that purpose.

 

From the Image Gallery


Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Arizona cypress
Hesperocyparis arizonica

More Privacy Screening Questions

Dog Friendly Privacy Hedge for Long Island
April 14, 2013 - Can you please advise me of some plants for a privacy hedge that are non-toxic to dogs and that would thrive on Long Island, NY? I am looking for a hedge to grow to about 6-8 ft.
view the full question and answer

Noise reduction hedge from Austin
April 17, 2013 - Noise reduction hedge row in Austin. We back up to a very busy street and need a fast growing noise barrier. In a similar post for the Houston area, you recommended Gordonia lasianthus -loblolly bay. ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen for privacy screen in Virginia
December 02, 2008 - Last year we lost a large pine that was part of privacy screen and we replaced it with two Eastern red cedars. There is still a substantial gap that won't be filled in by the cedars and we were cons...
view the full question and answer

Privacy plantings in Texas
August 16, 2008 - Our home currently has a 4' chain fence. We are a family of 7 with younger aged children and are looking for more privacy. In lieu of a replacement fence, what would you recommend planting to provi...
view the full question and answer

Need Fast-Growing Screening Shrub for Arlington, TX
March 16, 2011 - What fast growing shrub/tree could be planted along side a fence to provide additional privacy? We have a pool in our backyard and the view behind our house is less than enjoyable. We would like to ...
view the full question and answer

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