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Mr. Smarty Plants - Trophy tree for Spicewood, Texas

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Tuesday - September 30, 2008

From: Spicewood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Trophy tree for Spicewood, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I want to plant a trophy Mesquite at the bottom of the hill, in Spicewood. I'm told that it may not flourish, because of the soil in my area. If that is the case, what would be a striking tree as an alternative. I also looked up "Pride of Houston Holly" but could not find it. Thanks

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants wonders what kind of soil you have that Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) wouldn't grow in??    According to the US Forest Service, mesquite grows in many different climates, habitats and soils—1) coastal prairies of southeastern Texas; 2) Rio Grande Plains of southwestern Texas; 3) western Texas and New Mexico; 4) Edwards Plateau of central Texas; 5) High Plains of northwestern Texas and the Oklahoma Panhandle; and 6) East-central Texas.  The soil types mentioned are loamy sand, sandy loam, calcareous silt loam, noncalcareous silt loam, gravelly sand loam, deep sandy loam, and calcareous clay. According to the Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (B. L. Turner et al.  2003. Fort Worth, TX:  BRIT),  mesquite does occur in several counties adjacent to Burnet County.

Mr. SP is happy to try to find you another tree, however.  "Pride of Houston Holly" is a cultivar of the native Ilex vomitoria (yaupon).  It is an evergreen, medium-sized tree and apparently this cultivar consists of only female trees and, thus, all will bear fruit.

Here are some more possibilities that grow to similar size and are found in Burnet County or an adjacent county:

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) evergreen

Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Leucaena retusa (littleleaf leadtree)

Frangula caroliniana (Carolina buckthorn)

Parkinsonia aculeata (Jerusalem thorn) evergreen

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)


Prosopis glandulosa

Ilex vomitoria

Sophora secundiflora

Styphnolobium affine

Chilopsis linearis

Leucaena retusa

Frangula caroliniana

Parkinsonia aculeata

Prunus mexicana

Ungnadia speciosa

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

 

 

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Bibliography

Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

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