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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - February 17, 2009

From: Seattle, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Evergreen oak in Washington
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Pacific Northwest and noticed an oak tree growing near the road that was evergreen (unusual for here). I was so curious that that last time that I passed the tree, I stopped to get a better look. The leaves are tough, lance shaped (Pointed at the tip. Some look oval with no lobes and many have a couple slight lobes with a thorn (like a holly thorn) on them. The color is kind of an olive or army green. Shiny on the top and dull on the underside. I found no acorns, but plenty of the acorn caps, many connected as twins. The average 3/4" across, maybe just a bit less. The site was full sun and damp. The tree was quite old, a good 60 feet and 40 to 50ft spread. The leatherly, shinny leaves with the spikes should help narrow it down. I've just never seen one in these parts and it was doing magnificently. The odd thing was that not each leaf on the twig had the thorns some were smooth along the edges, but they ALL have a thorn at the end of the leaf. Hope you can solve the mystery. Thanks,

ANSWER:

Your description is very good, but we are afraid that it is still not quite enough to identify the mystery tree.  For most species - especially for oak species - we cannot positively identify a plant without seeing good digital images.  If you can take pictures of the tree the next time you pass by, we might be able to ID it for you.  Please go to this link for detailed instructions on how to take and submit images of plants for identification.  For oaks, sharply focused, close-up images of the leaves (top and bottom), acorns and overall shape of the tree are usually most helpful for ID.

 

More Trees Questions

Need a tree with a tap root for a small flower bed in Winston-Salem, NC..
May 20, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants, I am looking for a tree 6-10', somewhat spreading, could flower (not essential) to serve as a focal point in a small bed with small shrubs and perennials. I need a tree with ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Magnolia grandiflora in Las Vegas NV
January 17, 2011 - I live in Las Vegas, NV and have several Magnolia Grandiflora trees. They were doing well until 2 years ago when they started losing their leaves. The leaves turn brown or very dark on the edges. One ...
view the full question and answer

Cold hardiness of native Wild Olive in Austin
October 11, 2008 - I am considering purchasing a Mexican/Texas Olive (Cordia boissieri) at the upcoming Wildflower Center plant sale to put in my yard in east Austin. I know this tree naturally occurring range extends ...
view the full question and answer

Is bald cypress native to Dallas area?
September 19, 2009 - There are 2 very large bald cypress trees growing beside one another at a park in North Dallas, and I was wondering if they were native or planted a long time ago by the settlers or something. They ar...
view the full question and answer

Surface tree roots hurting grass in Houston
March 21, 2013 - We have 2 mature Arizona Ash trees in our yard (30-40'). One of them is in a sunnier location and has developed an extensive network of surface roots (up to 1 to 1 1/2" Dia.) between the tree and th...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center