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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.

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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.

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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!

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Saturday - April 20, 2013

From: Mount Kisco, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees, Vines
Title: Privacy Screening Plant for New York Narrow Site
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I need privacy screening on the side of my house in Mount Kisco, New York located 40 miles north of New York City. The area gets plenty of sun but is somewhat narrow. What evergreen bushes or trees would you recommend? Or perhaps a flowering vine that is not invasive because I can put up a trellis. Thank you

ANSWER:

The first place to start to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database.  Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: New York, Habit – Shrub , Vine or Tree, Duration – Perennial, Light Requirement – Sun, Leaf Retention - Evergreen. This will give you 5 plants to consider. Next you can narrow down your search further by size, flower color, and soil moisture (dry, moist or wet) requirements.

Evergreen shrubs to consider in the 6-12 foot range:

Juniperus communis var. depressa (common juniper)

Taxus canadensis  (Canada yew)

Evergreen trees to consider in the 12-26 foot range:

Ilex opaca (American holly) Perhaps too wide for the site?

Pinus virginiana (Virginia pine) Perhaps too wide at maturity for your site?

Evergreen vine in the 12-20 foot range:

Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle)

 

From the Image Gallery


Canada yew
Taxus canadensis

American holly
Ilex opaca

American holly
Ilex opaca

Virginia pine
Pinus virginiana

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

Coral honeysuckle
Lonicera sempervirens

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