Privacy hudge suggestions for Houston, TX

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I am soon moving into a new home in Houston, TX. Behind my 6ft wood fence, there will soon be a 2 lane road and maybe some mild commericial development. I am looking to plant a privacy hedge.
- Want it to be *dense* so it will block all sight and maybe dampen noise. - Plan to make it 8-10ft, but want it to be able to get taller if later decide its warranted. - Will be along a back wood fence, with a resevoir behind me. No neighbor to worry about. - Would like it to grow at a reasonable to quick pace. - Want it evergreen. Houston has hot, humid summers and mild winters (freezes occasionally, no snow). - Needs to be hardy. I do not have a green thumb. I will keep it watered and such, but I want something I don't have to baby along for it to survive. - Will be planted into clay...which is pretty much what all ground soil is in Houston.
Does arborvitae grow well in Houston? Or any other dense cedar? Any other suggestions? Thanks!
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Consider Bamboo. There is a nursery (I believe it is called Ma's nursery - in League City it believe) that has many varieties. If you want to see what it looks like, walk the trail at Hershey park between Memorial Drive and Wilcrest. I now live in Maryland but walk there when I visit friends and family in Houston.
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Personally we have a 30 year old holly hedge in the front yard with the side yard a hedge of what I was told was prycanthia (I don't think it is though) The "prycanthia" got to be around 10 - 12 feet until the neighbors asked if they could prune it and nearly killed it by cutting it back to around 3 feet (I was much ticked off)
Shell

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Sounds like the Pyracantha was too close to a property line and lived to a good age..
Shell wrote:

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With the reservoir behind you as water source, a great choice is Southern Wax Myrtle, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/myricacerifera.htm . It draws 40 different types of birds and is a dense, evergreen tree shrub. Birds will eat the fruits.
Someone mentioned Holly. Yaupon Holly, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/ilexvomitoria.htm , is a bird snactuary due to its proliferation of red berries. See the URL link.
Possomhaw Viburnum, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/viburnumnud.htm , another great native with beautiful red berries and cover for wildlife. (deciduous)
Also, Possomhaw Holly, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/ilexdecidua.htm http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/deciduous/ilexdecidua2gg.html http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/deciduous/ilexdecidua94.html http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/deciduous/ilexdecidua83.html (without is leaves, it blocks the sign pretty good, right?), The Houston Chronicle quoted me in the gardening section that this is a show-stopper.
Texas Native Shrubs, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/nativeshrubs/indexcommon.htm
Texas Native Trees, http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/ornamentals/natives/tamuhort.html - pictured is benny Simpson, co-founder of the Native Plant Society of Texas.
J. Kolenovsky VP Houston Chapter, Native Plant Society of Texas Come join us for free native plants, trees and shrubs.
SJE wrote:

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Thank you all for the suggestions.
Bamboo is intriguing, but I am going to need almost 150ft worth...is this a maintenance nightmare? I don't mind trimming on even a weekly basis, but I don't want something to spread out of control.
I've been reading about green giant arborvitae. Would this tree grow in Texas or is it mostly a northern tree?
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opined:

Well, it depends on your soil and pH levels, etc. They are not a widely used shrub for here. It is not a tree.
I suggest you take a look at this website and call around. Maybe take a ride out to the Houston Arboretum. You can find that info on this website, too.
http://www.npsot.org/Houston/plant_lists/NativePlantSources.htm
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Bamboo could get out of control. The root runs will show up in your neighbors yard. To eliminate that you could out down a steel root barrier in the soil.
Arborvitae is a northern plant. They get leaf thin-out and look thinned in the middle and bottom. You probably are looking in some catalogs and saw these. If you are, consider some advice. I used to do that. Ordered out of those mid and northern catalogs. I have ripped out all of those plants purchased during 1992- 1997 becuase they aren't from these parts, they aren't native, some got invasive, some got diseases, some required a lot of work and some were just plain ugly as they got older.
If I could get you to consider native plants (again, I ask this - you posted same topic 30 days ago), you will find that you'll have wildlife in your yard, no pests or diseases, little fertilizing to do (using an organic fertilzer), less maintenance and a higher quality of life. Ask Victoria or ask me. We went with natives and people drop in the street to admire the natural beauty of a habitat with native plants. Stop my my website, http://www.celestialhabitats.com - business or my home habitat, http://www.hal-pc.org/~garden and view the pix and read the data. It will be convincing enough.
J. Kolenovsky Native Plant Society of Texas, Houston Chapter VP (don't forget my invitation to you to come to our meetings and get free
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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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Jim Lewis wrote:

Yes, absolutely. I always recommend to get a native that comes from within a 100 mile radius or less of one's location. That way one gets the true one from their area.

Yes, I can send him a local retailer list. Thanks, Jim.

Yes, there are farmers and ranchers who refer to Yaupon Holly that way. And in the wild, it can definitely get thick. Here in the city, there are Yaupon species that can stay fairly controllable.

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If you want a wonderful hedge, yaupon holly is hard to beat. I have many, many dwarf yaupon holly bushes around our home. The birds love the berries and you cannot beat the form of the dwarf.
I wouldn't call them weeds, but they are certainly found everywhere in the brush in Texas. A most delightful plant.
All states in the U.S. have a Native Plant Society chapter.
Victoria
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animaux wrote:



That's right. Here's the link: http://www.prairienet.org/gpf/natives.html
Victoria, I think Jim Lewis might work in landscape. Not sure, but some of his comments seem that way.

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Could be. I haven't forgotten your frog fruit! Us, with that frogfruit chase!
I'll get it to you. It's in the greenhouse in 6 packs. I haven't potted them into 4" pots yet. I will send them to you unpotted. Hard to kill these.
V
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Victoria, I think Jim Lewis might work in landscape. Not sure, but some of his comments seem that way.

No. I'm a retired environmental educator, an amateur botanist, a Florida "Advanced Master Gardener" (FWIW), and have been growing bonsai for nearly 30 years, concentrating (mostly) on native trees and shrubs. I have a hard time thinking of anything more enjoyable than wandering through the woods at any time of year looking at plants (and pulling up escaped exotics! Ardesia is my latest pet peeve around here.).
I do my own landscaping, such as it is, but that's it.
Jim Lewis - snipped-for-privacy@nettally.com - Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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My first thought is bamboo. It's a beautiful plant and you can buy several different clumping varieties which will give you a nicely textured hedge. You can buy bamboo in many different colors, foliage types, heights and invasiveness. Though clumping forms will be less invasive, most of them still run in Texas. Our soil never freezes so things grow and grow. Be careful to select varieties which will not take over. Clumping varieties can be kept in bounds by culming in the spring.
You can look all the terms up.
Victoria
opined:

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One word "OLEANDER". Oleander loves Houston's soil and weather.
Plant it soon to get it established by summer and forget about it.
Standard varities get up to 20'. improves varities "dwarf salmon" get only 4'to 5'.
I planted one gallon Oleander last April that is now 4'to 6' tall. Trim tops to promote
filling in. Oleander will bloom through the summer, and is evergreen.
Josephs nursery in Pearland is a good nursery at wholesale prices.
Go to Maas nursery in Seabrook to get ideas, great place just a bit pricey. I always ge something.
But go to joseophs in Pearland for bulk purchases.
Good luck.
Matt

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"Oleander Leaf Scorch" exists in Houston. http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/xylella/oleander.html
meanbeagle wrote:

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Good choice. I also use it as a screen. Not only does it grow fast and hide unsightly areas, it blooms profusely in May and June. For a "stick-it-in-the-ground-and-forget-it" large shrub, oleander can't be beat. It's so tough that they plant it on freeway medians.
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Yes, plant it and it'll be dead in 2 years with OLS. http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/xylella/oleander.html . OLS exists in texas.
Secret Asian Man wrote:

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I don't know that all Oleander will be dead in two years. I've had a beautiful stand for 4 years and it looks fine. Yes, there is this OLS to be concerned about, but oak wilt is also there. I suppose your position is correct in that if one plants something for a screen, and in a few years has that thicket, it is a waste of time if it then dies just as it's getting beautiful. In that, we agree. OLS may be more prevalent in Houston. In this area of Texas, it's found in parts of the region which over use Oleander. It's deer resistant, so it's everywhere deer are found browsing in gardens.
Victoria

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