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

Final size of a Texas mountain laurel
August 11, 2014 - I have purchased a Texas Mountain Laurel. The plant tag says it will grow 25 to 35 feet. LBWF plant data base says 10 to 15 feet. Which data should I go with? It's either plant close but not close to...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a sunny, dry slope in NY
March 01, 2010 - Looking for plants, native to area, that are quick growing to a height of approximately 6" to 12" for a steep slope comprised of shale in a sunny location.
view the full question and answer

Replanting yaupon in Blanco TX
January 16, 2013 - How do I replant Yaupon in its native area Blanco TX?
view the full question and answer

Replacing shrubs with perennials in NY
June 29, 2011 - We removed a lot of shrubs from our back yard that had been there for many years. We now want to plant perennials but there seems to be a lot of very deep roots in the soil. The roots look dead but I...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screen for Reading MA
June 27, 2012 - Best tree to grow for a privacy screen - Hello, we recently moved into a new house in Reading and have an open area on the side of our house where we can make a privacy screen from our neighbors. Wha...
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