En Español

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
1 rating

Saturday - December 21, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need a native pine tree for Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Is there a native pine tree that you would recommend for the Austin, Texas area? We're considering the Colorado pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) or the Papershell pinyon (Pinus remota)? Would either of these work in a sloped residential backyard in south/central Austin that has not been disturbed in many years? Or should we shy away from pine trees for the Austin area? Thank you!

ANSWER:

If you look around Austin,  you’ll  discover that there is a dearth of pine trees in the city.
I’ve included USDA distribution maps for the species you mentioned: Pinus edulis (Colorado pinyon pine) (distribution ) and Pinus remota (Papershell pinyon) (distribution ).  A third Pinyon pine is Pinus cembroides (Mexican pinyon)  (distribution ).

A pine that occurs closer to Austin is the Loblolly Pine Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine) (distribution), but its growth needs aren’t satisfied by the Austin soils.

A tool that you can use to help with tree selection is the Texas Tree Planting Guide. This is an interactive guide developed by the Texas Forest service that helps with tree selection, planting and care.

Another source of information is the Recommended Species feature of our Native Plant Database. Click on Central Texas on the map and you will get a list of 157 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. Since you are interested in trees, go to the Narrow Your Search Box and make the following selections: Choose Texas under State, Tree under General Appearance, and Perennial under Lifespan. Check Sun under light Requirement, Dry under Soil Moisture and 12-36 under height. Click the Narrow your search button and your  list shrinks to 13 plants that meet these criteria.

You can also check with folks at the Travis County office of Texas AgriLife Extension for some good advice.

 

 

More Planting Questions

Propagation of rain, oxblood, and copper lily bulbs
November 30, 2012 - I have Rain Lily, Oxblood Lily, and Copper Lily bulbs out of the ground, that are putting out some green growth. I would like to plant them soon. Is it okay to plant now and in December, or do I hav...
view the full question and answer

Suggestions for flowerbed in Mesquite TX
June 17, 2011 - I live in Mesquite and am new to the area. I am trying to make the flowerbed in the front of my house look better. I've planted some yellow roses and red roses but would like some perennial that bloo...
view the full question and answer

Removal of burned tree stump from Weir TX
September 24, 2012 - Hello, I am the community manager for Country Glen, LLC In Weir, Texas 5 miles north east of Georgetown Texas. Simple question I need to remove a large Arizona Ash that was burned buy fire I need th...
view the full question and answer

Construction problems on site in Mansfield OH
April 28, 2012 - Last year we had a rectangular above ground pool put in the person who "leveled" for use did a terrible job and basically dug a huge hole for us to put our pool in. The back side of the pool is abou...
view the full question and answer

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center