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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - June 07, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Locating non-native Bradford pear tree in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Where can I find a Bradford pear tree in Austin, TX?

ANSWER:

Because at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are dedicated to the care and propagation of plants native to North America, we do not have the Bradford Pear, native to Korea and China, in our Native Plant Database. And, probably, our native plant suppliers do not stock it either. If you haven't already planted this tree, perhaps you would consider another choice? Please read this article from Dave's Garden: Bradford Pear Tree (To plant or not to plant?). We trumpet the virtues of native plants because they are already adapted to the conditions in the area where they are growing, thus needing less fertilizer, maintenance and water.

May we try converting you to native plants? Read our How-To Article on Using Native Plants for some of the reasons why it is so important to the environment. Next see our Just for Texas Collection of plants in Hill Country Horticulture. In that list, you can Narrow Your Search by selecting Texas, habit (tree, shrub, etc), duration (annual, perennial), light requirement (how many hours of sun you have a day in your garden) and soil moisture. We have chosen seven small trees, six of which flower beautifully, that we think you would enjoy in place of the non-native Bradford Pear. If you see some natives you like, go to our Suppliers section, enter your city and state in the Enter Search Location box, and you will get lists of nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape experts in your general area. Many have websites or phone numbers so you can check for availability. Here are some trees we like for the Austin area.

Cercis canadensis var. mexicana (Mexican redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood)


Cercis canadensis var. mexicana

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus mexicana

Sophora secundiflora

Taxodium distichum

Ungnadia speciosa

Eysenhardtia texana

 

 

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