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

Monday - December 10, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees with yellow fall leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hello, I want to plant a medium sized tree in my back yard that has yellow foliage in the fall. I've seen Yellow (in the fall) trees in my part of town (south Austin around West William Cannon)that appear to be some type of oak tree. They appear to be wild trees because they are near a brand new subdivision. Before the area was recently developed it was all forested. These trees must have been there before the development. Any idea what kind of tree I've noticed in my neighborhood and what else can you recommend?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks the most likely native tree with yellow leaves that you might have seen is Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii (western soapberry), a medium-sized tree. They have been rather spectacular this fall. Mr. SP is not aware of any oaks native to the Austin area with yellow fall leaves.

Other native possibilities with yellow fall foliage are:

Carya illinoinensis (pecan), large tree, fall color

Juglans nigra (black walnut), large tree, fall color

Juglans microcarpa (little walnut), medium tree

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash), medium to large tree, fall color

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm), medium tree, fall color

Prunus serotina var. eximia (black cherry), small to medium tree, fall color

Gleditsia triacanthos (honeylocust), medium to large tree, fall color

Hamamelis virginiana (American witchhazel), small tree, fall color

If you think the trees you saw were something different, send us a photo and we will do our best to identify them. Please read the instructions for submitting photos under "Plant Identification" on the Ask Mr. Smarty Plants page.

 

More Trees Questions

Plants for under live oak in Houston
July 09, 2011 - Hi, We have a live oak in our back garden in Houston and would like to plant a combination of some native shrubs and flowers near it (preferably perennial). The garden bed is about 4 metres from the...
view the full question and answer

Deadheading seedless desert willows for continued bloom in Phoenix AZ
May 31, 2010 - We planted two seedless desert willow trees this spring. Both have bloomed nicely but we now have many stems with the spent flowers still on the tree. Your database for this plant says to "Remove spe...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Difference between live oaks and post oaks in Driftwood TX
April 18, 2010 - What are the differences between Live Oaks and Post Oaks, and are both susceptible to Oak Wilt? Also, should we remove the Ball Moss on the branches of these trees? Or is the light green lichen on the...
view the full question and answer

Will corn fall victim to allelopathy from hackberry in Clarkridge AR
March 30, 2013 - Will my corn be inhibited by a nearby hackberry and if so would it help to cut it down? I understand that sometimes the soil is full of the chemicals the tree produces.
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