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
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

Failure to bud out of nuttall oak in Albany GA
April 26, 2010 - We planted a nutall oak in the fall of 09. It seemed to fare well during the winter. It is now spring and all of our other trees are budding out. The limbs are flexible. Not breaking off easily like t...
view the full question and answer

Sprouts from Live Oak in Austin
April 06, 2011 - I have an Escarpment Live Oak..quercus fusiformis.? I get tired of all the sprouts that come up around this tree..My yard person wants to pull them up or get a roto tiller after them..? I had been t...
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
October 05, 2013 - We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?
view the full question and answer

Susceptibility of Shumard oaks to oak wilt
March 25, 2006 - I have planted a red oak tree. I am still trying to locate the ID tag for the type. I planted it two or three years ago. I purchased the tree from either Lowes or Home Depot. Is there a type of red oa...
view the full question and answer

Tree for South Dakota
April 24, 2012 - Sir, I am looking for suggestions on a backyard tree, nice shade tree 60-80' height to complement a split foyer house and a flowering crab that is currently there. Low maintenance, with no seeds or c...
view the full question and answer

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