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 - November 19, 2012

From: Baltimore, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Deer Resistant, Privacy Screening, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Evergreen Privacy Screen for Maryland
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I am looking for an evergreen that will suffice to be planted as a privacy screen between my property and my neighbors. Looking to plant a row at the property line. The lot is shaded most of the day and receives maybe 2-3 hours of sun. I would prefer the plant be around 20'-40' when mature. Also, there are plenty of deer in the area so it needs to be deer resistant.

ANSWER:

Wow!   That’s a lot of requirements [or at least “wishes”].  The more constraints you put on a solution, the more limited your options are, but I[we] got lucky and there are some good choices which I discuss at the bottom of this message.   The proper way to go about this is to bring up the “Recommended Species” for Maryland – then “narrow the choices” by your requirements on the sidebar.  The following Mr Smarty Plant question/answer pairs illustrate this and provide some interesting reading on similar questions:
Native Alternatives for Baltimore 
Evergreens for Privacy in VA
Privacy Screen in Arlington VA
Shrubs for a Screen in DC
Large Shrubs for Privacy Screen in VA
Shrubs for a barrier fence in Alexandria VA

   Now, just in case you are in a “just give me the answer” mood; I did this for shrubs/trees in the 12-36 foot range and partial shade [2-6 hours sun].  After that, you have to read the plant record to see if it is evergreen and to see if there is a comment as to deer resistance.  Here is what I found:

  The closest to having everything was Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), which is both evergreen and listed as having moderate deer resistance.
Evergreens that might also be good choices include  Ilex opaca (American holly), Rhododendron catawbiense (Catawba rosebay) and Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel), but there was no mention of deer resistance.

Similarly, non-evergreens that are listed as deer resistant include Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer ash) which is listed as High Deer Resistance, and Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) or  Viburnum rufidulum (Rusty blackhaw viburnum) with Moderate Deer Resistance.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

American holly
Ilex opaca

Catawba rosebay
Rhododendron catawbiense

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Rusty blackhaw viburnum
Viburnum rufidulum

More Trees Questions

Looking for copper beach (Fagus sylvatica)
December 05, 2008 - I would like to purchase a copper beech tree to plant in CT as a gift. Where can I find one to purchase?
view the full question and answer

Privacy hedge for South Dakota
August 08, 2008 - Hi, I'm looking for something to use as a hedge. 8 foot or so tall offering semi privacy all year. I like dogwoods but loss of leaves in the winter makes me skeptical. Boxwood would be interesting...
view the full question and answer

Wispy plant to put behind a waterfall
May 30, 2008 - Needing a 10-20ft wispy ______ to plant behind our waterfall to help block out road noise. We live in Austin. I've looked at the Mexican weeping bamboo but are there other options?
view the full question and answer

Texas madrone trimmings for a wedding
July 26, 2011 - Looking for Texas madrone tree trimmings needed for a special wedding.
view the full question and answer

Location of pine trees for a wedding site in Grapevine TX
April 30, 2014 - Okay, I know this is a long shot. My daughter is getting married in Grapevine, October 18 at sunrise. She REALLY wants to have the ceremony near pine trees. Any suggestions for locations in Grapevine ...
view the full question and answer

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