plants and trees for sound barrier - Knowledgebase Question

sandy, Ut
Question by pauladearr
June 30, 2010
What kind of plants and trees can I plant to dull the noise in the front yard of my house that faces south and a major street ? Privacy would be nice too!

Answer from NGA
June 30, 2010


Evergreens would give you year around protection. You might consider planting them closest to the street, and staggering some other choices in front for color and seasonal interest. South facing is alot of sun in summer, so choose plants that take full sun. Also, be sure you don't plant tall growers beneath utility wires, if that's a factor. Seek dwarf conifer cultivars that grow less than 25 feet to avoid utilities.

Water is a big issue in the West, so natives are a good choice. They'll withstand conditions better than non-natives, so there's likelihood of plant death leaving a gap in your screen! Here's a couple of interesting natives to look at:

Curl-leaf mountain mahogany, Cercocarpus ledifolius, is a native large shrub to small tree adapted for low-water landscapes. It is the only broadleaf evergreen tree in the Intermountain West, creating an interesting winter contrast to basic conifers. It develops an intriguing shape as it ages.

Apache plume is a native evergreen shrub that can reach five feet tall and wide in a landscape setting. It has feathery pinkish seedheads that emerges after the white rose-like, flower fades.

Utah Cooperative Extension offers an extensive list of landscape trees at

Check this page at the National Gardening Association site for issues to consider for privacy screens.

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