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?


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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - August 20, 2004

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Small to medium specimen native tree for Texas Hill Country
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff


Can you recommend a small to med. 'specimen' tree to plant near our patio? Full sun, drought tolerant, interesting during different seasons. Thought about Blanco Crabapple, Rusty Blackhaw, Smoke Tree & Canyon Mock Orange. We have unimproved soil, located in the Texas Hill Country.


The trees that you have suggested are certainly good choices for your location. I can also recommend: Desert Willow, Chilopsis linearis (desert willow), Orchid Tree,Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) and Golden-ball Lead Tree Leucaena retusa (littleleaf leadtree) I recommend browsing to our Hill Country Horticulture webpage, a service provided by our Native Plant Information Network, that enables a robust search by habit and plant requirements that will help you target the right plant for your needs in your eco-type.

More Trees Questions

Willow woes in Philadelphia, NY
August 22, 2010 - I have a 2 yr old willow; it is August and it looks like the tree has gone dormant, is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Conifer for Moist, Full Sun Site in Ohio
May 09, 2015 - We need to find an evergreen conifer, classic holiday-shaped tree that will tolerate a very moist, but not soaking wet, site in full sun.
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
November 17, 2010 - When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.
view the full question and answer

Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
May 11, 2013 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center