En EspaŅol

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
2 ratings

Thursday - January 29, 2009

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Fast-growing shade tree for New Braunfels, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I would like to plant a tree in the back of my property which is located in the Hill Country just north of New Braunfels. Could you please suggest something that is fast growing and will grow in full sun and in limestone soil? The tree will be watered at first (for the first few weeks) but will not get any supplemental watering after that. Native trees nearby include ashe juniper, cedar elm, and live oak. Would Texas Sycamore work?

ANSWER:

First of all, Platanus occidentalis (American or Texas sycamore) is not really a good choice for your situation since its native habitat tends to be moist bottomlands or sites with readily available water.  Since your site is dry, you would have to do considerable watering to get a sycamore established. I can suggest some other trees, both fast-growing and with moderate growth.  Any of the trees listed below will also require some watering at first to become established.

FAST-GROWING TREES:

Fraxinus berlandieriana (Mexican ash) to 30 ft.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash) 50-75 ft.

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) 30-45 ft.

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) 15-30 ft.

Ulmus americana (American elm) 72-100 ft.

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) up to 20 ft. and evergreen.

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) to 100 ft.

MODERATE GROWTH TREES:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) 12-25 ft. and evergreen.

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) 50-70 ft.

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak) 40-60 ft.

Acer grandidentatum (bigtooth maple) 10-15 ft.


Fraxinus berlandieriana

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Fraxinus texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Ulmus americana

Morella cerifera

Quercus macrocarpa

Ilex vomitoria

Ulmus crassifolia

Quercus muehlenbergii

Acer grandidentatum

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Deer resistant, drought and shade tolerant plants to go under oak tree in Austin
March 21, 2011 - What is the best deer resistant, drought resistant native plant to grow under my huge Oak tree? Grass does not grow. Will iris bloom?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming crape myrtle in Italy, TX
June 25, 2008 - It's Italy, TX, again! Thanks for the advice and links, and I'll study those..but here's where I'm stumped on crape myrtle. I have two (almost) trees because they've been planted over 15 years ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen, deer resistant privacy screen for Villanova PA
March 29, 2013 - Looking for something that is deer resistant and ideally evergreen to block a shed and fence that my neighbor recently installed. Live in Eastern PA. Not the best drainage and also shade for most of...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a shady hillside in WI
June 07, 2011 - I would like to know what kind of plants I could plant on a northern exposure hillside to stop erosion. At the bottom of the hill is a lake. Also would putting rocks from the area as natural retaining...
view the full question and answer

Understory shrub for shady area in San Antonio
December 03, 2008 - We would like to plant a small understory tree/shrub in an odd space that our new deck has created between our fence line and the house. A mature mountain laurel would be our dream but I think there ...
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