Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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

Thursday - September 06, 2007

From: Kerrville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: Native alternatives for Chinest pistache
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live just outside Kerrville on a lot with shallow soil over rock. We have built a raised bed for a shade tree and were considering a Chinese Pistache. However, I have since heard that they don't live very long. A nurseryman recommended Monterrey Oak, and I've been attracted by pictures of Texas Ash. Could you provide further direction?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants would definitely NOT recommend Pistacia chinenesis (Chinese pistache) since it is on the "Invasives" list of TexasInvasives.org. However, Mr. SP has several suggestions for alternative trees. Another small to medium-sized tree with spectacular fall colors is Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple). Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) also has brilliant fall colors. There are several oaks, (e.g., Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak), Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak), and Quercus polymorpha (Monterrey oak)) that are in that size range and also are resistant to oak wilt disease, but they don't really have spectacular fall colors.

The Texas Forest Service (in association with Texas A&M University) has a Texas Tree Planting Guide where you can use your specific criteria to search for trees that will do well in your area.


Acer grandidentatum

Fraxinus texensis

Quercus muehlenbergii

Quercus laceyi

Quercus polymorpha

 

 

 

More Invasive Plants Questions

More information on coltsfoot in Rindge NH
July 28, 2009 - I wanted to give input regarding the query from Barbara Medford about: Coltsfoot invasive in Rindge NH Tuesday - July 21, 2009. I think it likely that the coltsfoot she described is Tussilago farfara...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating crabgrass in a newly mulched area in Austin
June 26, 2009 - We just had our whole front lawn taken out. We are starting to plant native plants in its place. The idea was to do whatís best for the environment and reduce maintenance. At this point Iím beginni...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating suckers from roots of Moraine locust in Hilliard, OH
July 07, 2009 - We removed a large Moraine Locust tree and also the stump. Now little trees from the roots are coming up. How do we get rid of these so something else can be planted?
view the full question and answer

Care for indoor ivy from Carollton TX
January 26, 2012 - I have an indoor ivy that is on a pole. The pole is breaking, and I need to separate the ivy from the pole with the least amount of trauma to the plant. How should I do this? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in the Southern California desert.
October 16, 2007 - We are located in southern California in Lake Havasu. I'm trying to landscape sloping areas. I have arrow weeds (Pluchea sericea) and want to get rid of them permanently. How can I achieve this or...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.