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
5 ratings

Sunday - September 16, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs with berries for birds and growing small red oak tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Recently, I saw a short article about attracting birds to one's yard. The article said to plant "berry-bearing" shrubs, but didn't name any specific shrubs. Could you tell me the names of shrubs that would appeal to our local birds? Also, can you suggest anything that might encourage a tiny red oak tree to grow? We planted a "volunteer" from another yard, but it has stubbornly refused to grow more than 2 inches in 3 years. I don't want to yank it and replace it, because it is still very much alive, just tiny. Thank you for reading my e-mail. Clueless in the landscape,

ANSWER:

Here are several "berry-bearing" shrubs that are native to Central Texas and will attract birds.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Ilex decidua (possumhaw)

Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry)

Mahonia trifoliolata (agarita)

Mahonia swaseyi (Texas barberry)

Rhus aromatica (fragrant sumac)

Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

You might also like read several of our How to Articles (e.g., "Creating a Wildflower Garden", "Wildlife Gardening Bibliography").

I'm not sure whether you have Quercus texana (Texas red oak) or Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak). They are very similar and they both have a moderate growth rate. Little growth in three years is not a good sign, but plants sometimes do this and then suddenly put on a great growth spurt just when you're about to give up on them.

 


Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Callicarpa americana

Mahonia trifoliolata

Mahonia swaseyi

Rhus aromatica

Rhus glabra

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus virens

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Planting time for non-natives in Irving TX
February 07, 2012 - Have dwarf nandinas and two lorapetalums that I want to transplant. Can I do it now February 6th 2012?
view the full question and answer

Alternative for Pittosporum limelight
March 22, 2012 - Is it ok to plant a Pittosporum limelight by pool? Don't want bees! Needs to be 6 feet. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Steep slope from Charlotte NC
May 03, 2012 - I live near Charlotte, NC and I have a very steep sloped area from the edge of our front yard down to the road. It's a huge eyesore mainly because it is red clay dirt and has nothing growing on it. W...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen privacy hedge resistant to verticillium wilt
September 27, 2011 - I am looking for an evergreen, fast-growing privacy hedge (over 6') that is resistant to verticillium wilt and has low water requirements. I live in Monrovia, CA and have to replace hopseed bushes w...
view the full question and answer

Possible maple scale on non-native mophead hydrangeas from Newport RI
August 07, 2013 - I have a mophead hydrangea that has small white cottony tufts under the leaves and on the stems. I believe this is maple scale. Is there a home remedy I can use to rid this disease?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center