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 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

 

 

More Trees Questions

Leaf problems on Arizona ash in New Braunfels, TX
August 07, 2010 - I have an Arizona Ash tree that is 10 years old. The leaves have brown spots all over and then eventually the leaves curl up and fall off the tree. Is this a fungus or a bacterial infestation? What...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a pine tree in Vevay IN
June 29, 2009 - At our office we have a very nice garden however, in the front we have a large pine tree. We cannot get anything to take root & live there. Do you have any suggestions for a native shrub or perennia...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife garden for Austin
May 19, 2013 - I am trying to make my backyard more wildlife friendly. I have pecan trees for the canopy and some understory shrub/trees like rough leaf dogwood and redbud. I am having a really hard time finding sui...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Non-native, and/or invasive bermudagrass, St. Augustine and Pistache from Houston
September 24, 2012 - Our St. Augustine lawn died suddenly this summer from either chinch bugs or grub worms (or both?), and a multitude of weeds and native Bermuda have taken over the area. Now that the weather has cooled...
view the full question and answer

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

Bibliography

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

Search More Titles in Bibliography