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 - 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

Evergreen replacement for bamboo in Redding CA
July 27, 2009 - We have just removed bamboo from our backyard and need to replace it with a plant that will give us the same type of privacy. What plant would you suggest to plant along a fence line that will surviv...
view the full question and answer

Invasive iceplant in Hawaii
October 29, 2008 - Last time I checked Hawaii was in North America. Invasive or not, iceplant continues to be a much used ground cover etc for golf courses, sides of the freeway and many many City and County projects pr...
view the full question and answer

Identification of bushes with red berries in Tennessee
January 31, 2012 - I was recently traveling thru Clarksville, TN and saw these bushes (at the shopping mall) that had clusters of small red berries on them. They were not a Holly that I know of. The leaves were not th...
view the full question and answer

Native turf grass for Austin
March 24, 2014 - I am installing a xeriscape landscape in my yard. It will be in full sun and I am looking for an alternative to turf, such as monkey grass. However, I am concerned about the light. Suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Fighting Sandburs with Bluebonnets in Austin, Planting Bluebonnets in Caliche soil
September 22, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, In my continuing fight against sandspurs I've decided that if I plant a copious amount of bluebonnets seeds that the foliage will choke out the sandspurs because bluebonnets set...
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