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

Changing the pH of the soil
January 16, 2012 - Hi, We have a job that has mostly Texas native plants on it. The architect is wanting to drop the pH levels of the soils to acidic levels that we don't feel is good for the plants and the area. ...
view the full question and answer

Need help growing plants in red dirt in Mount Pleasant, NC.
September 17, 2011 - I live in N.C. and I have had the hardest time getting plants to grow;I have red dirt at my house. Can you suggest a few colorful plants that would do real well in red dirt? Thank You So Very Much!!!!...
view the full question and answer

Shriveling agave from Miami Florida
August 23, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Most upset - My beautiful agave (wish I could have submitted an image) has stared to misbehave. The once first liquid filled leaves, are starting to look more like the skin ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Tecoma stans in Texas
October 26, 2008 - I have a pair of Tecoma stans planted too near the house. They're in shade most of the day. The branches that can reach a little sun are blooming nicely. Would they survive being transplanted fart...
view the full question and answer

Garden instructions from Austin
June 12, 2013 - I'm a beginning gardener putting in some new landscaping in my front yard in north central Austin, TX. The yard faces almost due east, so it gets full sun until early afternoon, when the house's sha...
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