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?

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

Bastard cabbage in Austin TX
March 17, 2012 - Not sure if this is the forum to address this; but is there any effort out there to do something about the bastard cabbage taking over Austin? Especially on MoPac where you can hardly see the bluebon...
view the full question and answer

Do white-tailed deer consume King Ranch bluestem?
October 25, 2013 - Will white-tail deer in central Texas consume King Ranch bluestem ?
view the full question and answer

Controlling Phragmites australis, common reed
July 04, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I volunteer at Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas. We are currently chopping down an invasive called Phragmites australis around the pond. The belief is that by continuously cho...
view the full question and answer

Dietes bicolor invasive from Brisbane Australia
April 01, 2013 - We have dietes bicolor growing in our garden. I am changing the type of garden and cannot seem to kill it. I've dugged it out, spent too many weekends pulling out every new shoot, used poison, but t...
view the full question and answer

Ants and garden plants for Austin
November 03, 2012 - I am needy of companion plants that compliment and work well with the Lantana, Mexican Heather , and in the new beds that I am preparing where I was thinking in part to have passion flower (though is ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center