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
1 rating

Monday - April 11, 2005

From: Atlanta, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Smarty Plants on southern magnolia
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in East Texas and there are two 50-year-old southern magnolia trees in front of my house on the highway right-of-way marked to be destroyed. The Texas Department of Transportation has allowed these trees to remain over the years, but now they say they have to go because they want to put in a curb and gutter system through Main St. leading up to their District office. We have flooding problems maybe once every 30 years and it is in the area away from these trees where there is a creek that could be utilized more efficiently instead! Can you tell me if a southern magnolia is considered a wildflower and give me an educated "guesstimate" of how much these trees are worth in general?            

ANSWER:

Most people would not consider magnolia trees wildflowers. We would, but we take a broader view of the term wildflower to include any native flowering plant. Magnolia certainly fits those criteria. The value of your trees will depend on many factors, but the replacement cost for large caliper trees can run into thousands of dollars. However, whether or not a plant is a wildflower gives it no legal protection unless it is an endangered species. Magnolias are not endangered. It seems, though, that the issues you face are largely legal and political, for which we really cannot give you much useful advice. Of course, an attorney would be able to advise you of your legal rights, and of those of the city or highway department as well. Local garden clubs, environmental groups, newspapers or sympathetic city leaders might prove helpful in your efforts to save your trees. Best of luck.

 

From the Image Gallery


Southern magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora

More Trees Questions

Oak leaf hydrangeas from Edwardsville IL
August 13, 2012 - Hello, I live in West Central Illinois (across the river from St. Louis) and I am considering planting several Oak leaf Hydrangea's in my yard. The location where I would like to plant them is und...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting live oaks in summer
July 17, 2008 - I have a need to transplant a live oak tree on a home building site. The need is now, the house is almost completely built out and the owners did not prep the site by moving trees or prepping them to ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ
May 11, 2014 - When is the best time to transplant dwarf crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ?
view the full question and answer

Can poisonous seed of wild plum be safely removed after steaming from Seymour IA
June 20, 2013 - I read on a related questions that you said the pit/seeds of all wild plums are poisonous. My question is this, can I juice the entire fruit for making jelly without removing the pit first? I have a s...
view the full question and answer

Taproot tree to replace willows by pool
June 23, 2008 - Installing Pool with bomanite decking all around it. We're in process of cutting down 18 year old Weeping Willow due to root invasiveness and small messy leaves. Can you recommend a good shade tree w...
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