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
2 ratings

Friday - November 07, 2008

From: Huntington Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Small flowering tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a short approx. 10 foot tall tree to plant in the 2 corners of my backyard near a wall. I would like them to be thin approx. 5 feet wide where light can get through so my other plants will get sun. There is mostly shade because of the 6 foot wall. I like trees that flower. Can you help me?

ANSWER:

Not many trees choose to remain that low, so we have added a couple of shrubs that can be trimmed up into a small tree. These have all been selected because they tolerate shade or part shade, and are fairly open, permitting sun to get to other plants. Two are deciduous, which means they will not shade your winter plants. All are found in Southern California.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - blooms in early Spring, before the heart-shaped leaves appear, deciduous

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - deciduous, not a true willow, has beautiful pink, purple and white blooms in the summer

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) - evergreen shrub, can be pruned up to small tree

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) - evergreen shrub, also trainable into small tree, aromatic foliage, attracts birds; Pictures


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

More Trees Questions

Thorny plant for fenceline security
December 23, 2009 - What kind of thorny plant or vine would you suggest to place along a fence for security purposes
view the full question and answer

Stump sprouting of Oak trees in the wildfire area in Bastrop, TX.
May 13, 2012 - We live in Bastrop, Texas, in the wildfire area. We lost all of our trees. The oak trees have "suckers" growing from the base of the burned tree that has been cut down. They look like little bushe...
view the full question and answer

Will the sea water from Hurricane Ike residually affect Galveston's soil
December 06, 2009 - Most of the trees on Galveston Island died following Hurricane Ike, apparently as a result of the sea water that covered the island. Will the sea water that soaked the soil have a residual effect on...
view the full question and answer

Pests on Fan Tex Ash
July 30, 2015 - We planted a Fan Tex Ash last year on our property. It's doing very well, but there are a lot of large stink bugs, yellow jackets and red wasps on it daily. We cannot seem to find any information on ...
view the full question and answer

Replanting of non-native Christmas Palm from Sarasota FL
November 28, 2012 - Do you know of a proven technique to plant a Christmas Palm in a built-in concrete pool deck planter box - using gravel around the soil root ball to delay the root bound condition we just ripped out?
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