Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Clear pungent, liquid oozing from oak tree
June 28, 2010 - I have a large oak that over the last few days has been oozing a pungent, non sticky, clear substance from one specific site (no damage) about the size of a dime. It's attracting quite a few gnats, m...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on women trying to conceive
July 10, 2005 - RE: Eucalyptus. Is this bad for women trying to conceive? The smell is very powerful.
view the full question and answer

Oak sap dripping on driveway in Austin
November 06, 2011 - Why would oak sap be dripping on driveway at this time when other oaks the neighbors have are not.
view the full question and answer

Mexican Sycamore trees grown from seed
November 15, 2011 - If someone is selling an alleged Mexican Sycamore grown from a seed harvested from a mature tree growing in Austin, is it likely to be a TRUE Mexican Sycamore -- or has it most likely been pollinated ...
view the full question and answer

Recently planted live oak tree in Boerne, TX
February 07, 2009 - My brother planted a live oak in August. It was from a nursery and had a root ball. It looks dead but I keep watering it. The trunk is about 6 inches around. The leaves died but when the winds came th...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.