En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 23, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Small, attractive tree to replace redbud
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi. We have a dying redbud (approx 9 yrs old) in our west facing front yard. It gets lots of sun, and plenty of water from our irrigation system. We think the issue is a vertical split in the trunk, possible caused by wind damage. We would like to replace it and aren't sure what to replace it with. We already have large mature live oaks, and really are looking for something small and pretty, just in between our driveway and our neighbors. It really is the right size and shape for our space, but I've heard that redbuds aren't very hearty on long-living and that we should consider something else. We would like it to be pretty year-round, and something we can hang lights in at the holidays (we have small kids)!. Suggestions?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is sorry about your Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud).  They are beautiful, but they do typically have a short lifespan (10-20 years).  Here are a few suggestions for a replacement:

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel), evergreen and can reach 30 feet, but slow growing

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon), evergreen, up to 25 feet and retains red berries through the winter

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry), evergreen with attractive white flowers

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree), deciduous, up to 15 feet, interesting seeds

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye), deciduous, up to 30 feet, pink flowers in spring

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn), deciduous, up to 20 feet, red berries during winter

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood) , deciduous, showy white flowers. red berries in the fall


Sophora secundiflora

Ilex vomitoria

Prunus caroliniana

Ptelea trifoliata

Ungnadia speciosa

Frangula caroliniana

Cornus drummondii

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Replacement of black willows killed by Hurricane in Nederland, TX
March 23, 2010 - Hurricane Ike wiped out all the native black willow trips in Texas Ornithological Birding Sanctuary in Sabine Pass and 5 miles down the road at Sea Rim Park. We had hoped that after 1 1/2 years, they ...
view the full question and answer

Will lilacs survive in Houston?
October 26, 2009 - My wife loves the smell of Lilacs (we're originally from Oregon), but we don't see any here in Houston. Is it possible to get lilacs to survive in Southeast Texas?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant trees for part shade in Highland MD
March 29, 2013 - Deer resistant privacy trees for partial shady area in Highland, MD.
view the full question and answer

Native drought resistant evergreen plants for privacy hedgein clay soil in Texas
March 08, 2006 - My family would like to create privacy around our 4 acres of fence line. What native evergreen or fast growing bushes would work? We have terrible clay soil and need drought resistant plants.
view the full question and answer

Huisache blooms when freeze is over
May 02, 2005 - I live in San Antonio, TX and have heard that when the Huisache blooms all danger of frost or freeze is over. Is that true? And, this year to date (April 22, 2005) we have not seen the Huisache bloo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center