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

Quercus polymorpha botanical name for Mexican white oak
June 19, 2007 - What is the scientfic name for the Monterrey Oak?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree, non-toxic for horses, in Northern California
March 18, 2010 - Hello..I need to find a fast growing shade tree, native to California (I live in Northern California, south of San Francisco) that would be safe next to (but not in) my horses paddock. Obviously some...
view the full question and answer

Low Water Use Plants for a Pond Island
November 06, 2014 - We have a medium sized pond/tank with a small island covered in black willows. The pond loses a lot of water and we were told it was partially due to the willows. We want to remove them and replace ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
September 20, 2008 - Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
view the full question and answer

What can be planted under a pine tree in Detroit, MI?
April 22, 2008 - What type of plant would you suggest I plant under my big (Blue bruce) pine tree? It's about 25 ft high and the branches are trimmed to about 4 feet up, so it does get some light but mostly shade.I a...
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