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
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

Looking for a shrub to provide shade to the west side of a home in Ft. Worth, TX
February 07, 2011 - We are on a corner lot and are looking for a tall tree or shrub to block the west side of our house. There is only a 5 foot area space between the sidewalk and side driveway where we want to plant th...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shade that is drought tolerant
August 02, 2010 - Can you suggest a ground cover or plant that loves shade and is drought tolerant in the Austin Region? If the two do not coexist can you suggest a ground cover for shade.
view the full question and answer

Saving or transplanting stand of white trillium that has lost shade
May 29, 2006 - We have a generous stand of white trillium that has been under the shade of a white oak for many years. Now the 100+ year old oak has died and the trilliums are in the sun. Are we in danger of losin...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade in Pennsylvania
September 13, 2008 - i would like to plant a small area in my rear yard, that is full shade in the summer (when the trees are full with leaves) and part shade in early spring. i live on a state park - there are plenty of...
view the full question and answer

Shrub for mostly shaded area in The Woodlands TX
December 19, 2012 - What large shrub will grow in a partially shaded to mostly shaded tree area in The Woodlands(Spring), Texas which is north of Houston, Texas between Houston and Conroe? The Woodlands is in the very so...
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