Explore Plants

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
    
 

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.

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Grasses for shade in McKinney TX
August 19, 2010 - Dear Sir, We have lived in the same house for 25 years and when we originally moved in we had St. Augustine sod installed and for several years it did very well until my trees started getting bigge...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Shade and Rain Garden in South Carolina
May 08, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have two seperate but important questions for your mastery of native plant knowledge. First, I live in a thick, 112 ft. tall white oak forest. Therefore, there is lot...
view the full question and answer

Erosion control for a North Carolina creek side
February 29, 2012 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants! I noticed a question on your website recommending NC native grasses and plants to help prevent erosion on a sloping backyard, including the use of an erosion blanket. The pl...
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.