En EspaŅol

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
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

Thursday - April 03, 2014

From: Waelder, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Soils, Trees
Title: Growing Loblolly Pines Outside Native Range
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I would like a stand of pines on my property but do not know if they will grow in my area. Do you know if the soil in Waelder, Texas will support pines?

ANSWER:

I'm going to assume that by "pines" you mean  Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine) rather than one of the pines that grows in the mountains of west Texas.

The link above describes the soil preference for loblollies as "Adaptable, but prefers moist, sandy soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam Acid-based, Medium Loam." I suspect that acid-based part is going to be a problem where you live. In addition, the USDA distribution map for loblolly pines shows Gonzales County to be a little west of its normal range.

Just because a plant is outside its range and soil conditions are not ideal does not necessarily mean it won't survive. It probably does mean they will not thrive. Most likely they won't reach their full potential size and will have a reduced life span. It is also likely they will be more susceptible to disease, drought and freezing. Iron chlorosis would be a particular problem to be concerned about. In summary, you may be able to grow loblollies, but it will be an uphill battle.

That's why Mr. Smarty Plants always recommends growing plants that are native to the area where they are being grown. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Loblolly pine
Pinus taeda

Loblolly pine
Pinus taeda

Loblolly pine
Pinus taeda

More Soils Questions

Turf grasses and alternatives for NH
October 23, 2010 - I live in Hancock, NH, just north of Peterborough. We just bought a relatively new house that pretty-much has no lawn and minimal landscaping. Can you (or anyone) suggest native lawn grass alternati...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Hamelia patens in Laredo
September 19, 2008 - I have a question regarding Hamelias patens(firebush)that I have been trying to grow for 2 years. I live in Laredo, Texas and this area should be an excellent climate for this plant. I planted 12 of t...
view the full question and answer

Planting Mountain Laurel grown from seeds in Argentina
April 09, 2014 - Hello, I was transferred to Cordoba, Argentina 2 years ago from San Antonio, the climate hereis similar to S. TX, anyway I brought some mountain laurel seeds with me and they have been in 2 gallon pot...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on mulch and organic material
July 20, 2005 - I live near Canyon Lake, just north of San Antonio in a new subdivision. I call on you for advice, as I have attended several classes there and hope you can help. Several areas on our property and nei...
view the full question and answer

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center