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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Problems with Texas Ash and non-native Bradford Pear in Hutto TX
January 27, 2011 - We have planted two trees in our back yard. The first one(a Bradford Pear) died and the second one (a Texas ash) doesn't look like it's doing very well. Our back yard is mostly black clay about 1 f...
view the full question and answer

Tree species for a small yard
June 29, 2012 - I have a small front yard area. Maybe 10' x 15'. It is also elevated. There is a retaining wall about 4 feet high. The builders planted a live oak! I think it is a nightmare waiting to happen as it ...
view the full question and answer

Tropical looking plants for pool area in California
November 14, 2008 - I am looking for small tropical looking plants, groundcover, and 2-small trees for around my pool. They have to be non-toxic to dogs,cats, and people. They can't attract bees/wasps, or have a root ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Monterey Oak in Austin, TX.
November 12, 2010 - I have a large Monterey Oak, planted last year that has not gotten any fuller. Do I need to fertilize and if so, when?
view the full question and answer

Is the Ashe juniper native from Round Mountain TX
June 23, 2010 - Some friends and I disagree on something, and I hope you will settle the argument. Are the cedars found in the Texas hill country (ashe juniper) native or not?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center