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

Monday - July 07, 2014

From: Canyon Lake, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Planting, Trees
Title: Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as several varieties of fruit and plum trees growing in the Texas Hill Country. The previous owner cleared all the trees from the quarter acre lot and I wanted to plant some shade as well as fruit trees. It currently has one crepe myrtle with white blooms that seems to be doing fairly well. I was going to purchase large trees for the pecan (10 foot range) and have them professionally planted and plant the fruit trees myself. Before I go spend money on these trees, will they survive in this area? I know just up the road in Blanco they have lots peach and pecan trees.

ANSWER:

Carya illinoinensis (Pecan) requires fairly specific growing conditions for success.  The trees you have seen in the Canyon Lake area are probably growing in or near creek bottom land, where the soil is deep and moist.  You should check your property for similar conditions.  Creating proper growth conditions from scratch would be difficult and expensive.  Even if you do have good pecan growing conditions, you will need frequent deep watering of newly planted large pecan trees for the first year.

 Fruit trees require similar conditions.  Peaches are the preferred fruit in Central Texas.  In addition to soil and moisture requirements, successful peach production requires attention to other factors, such as susceptibility to Spring frosts.  A Texas A&M web site discusses the factors that must be considered and lists peach varieties that are recommended for your area.  Varieties you select must have at least the recommended number of nights below 45 degrees in order to overcome winter dormancy.  And you also need varieties that flower late enough to avoid damage from late frosts.  I recommend that you contact your Comal County agricultural extension agent for advice on suitable varieties.  He can also help you select varieties of plum, which requires conditions similar to those needed by peaches.  Of course, you realize that trees should be planted in winter, when they are dormant.

I should point out that there are several varieties of native plums that grow in Texas.  These do not produce very desirable fruit, but they are quite beautiful (see examples below) when blooming in the Spring, and they are much less demanding in their soil and moisture requirements.  

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

Creek plum
Prunus rivularis

More Trees Questions

Member of Taxus genus native to southern Illinois from Granite City IL
July 12, 2013 - Is there a native Southern Illinois similar to Taxus baccata? I live in Granite City IL and am looking for a native plant/scrub that stays green year round about 2-3 feet tall to it helps insulate the...
view the full question and answer

Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
April 12, 2010 - I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

Will Fragrant Ash grow in Bowie County TX?
April 24, 2011 - I live in south Bexar County in very fine deep sand. Will the Fraxinus cuspidata grow in my soil and temperature?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Arizona Ash from Naco AZ
May 19, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty.. Live in southeast corner of Az. My Az. Ash is diseased. Just noticed leaves are curled, (still green) and when I open the leaf it has a zillion little white, what look like mites ...
view the full question and answer

Do non-native globe willows have a taproot from Midland TX
April 06, 2012 - Do globe willows have a tap root?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center