Explore Plants

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
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

Rock under space for Bigtooth Maple in San Antonio
May 20, 2013 - I just got a 10 gallon Bigtooth Maple in Medina TX for my home outside loop 1604 in San Antonio. I hit rock about 7 inches in when trying to plant it..I am entertaining the idea for a raised bed to le...
view the full question and answer

Trees to replace some non-native invasives in Deltona FL
February 02, 2012 - I would like to replace 3 large ChinaBerry & 3 large Chinese Tallow trees in my good sized back yard with some local wildlife friendly trees native to the Deltona area(first area.) What do you recomme...
view the full question and answer

Hankering for a view-blocking hedge in Hempstead, TX.
July 03, 2013 - Hempstead is 50 miles west of Houston and I am looking for a fast growing native to provide a block of a view for a fairly large area (about half a block). I would prefer something that is also benef...
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

Ensuring survival of wax myrtle in Wilmington, NC
July 29, 2009 - I just transplanted some wax myrtle bushes. What do I need to do to insure they live?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.