Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
3 ratings

Saturday - May 21, 2005

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native maples for the Austin, TX area
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am new to the state of Texas. I lived in Canada all of my life and miss my maple trees. Are maple trees (green or red leafed varieties) able to thrive in Austin?

ANSWER:

There are 5 members of the Family Aceraceae (maple family) that are native to Texas, but the only one that is native to Austin and Travis County is Box Elder or Ash-leaved Maple (Acer negundo). It doesn't look much like the other maples in overall shape or its leaf shape, nor does it have spectacular fall foliage; but the sap has sometimes been harvested for sugar. Chalk Maple (Acer leucoderme), Red Maple (Acer rubrum), and Southern Sugar Maple (Acer barbatum) all occur in the sandy Piney Woods of East Texas, and are not likely to thrive in the limestone soils of Central Texas. However, the Big-toothed Maple (Acer grandidentatum) grows on limestone soils northwest of Austin in Coryell County on the Ft. Hood military reservation and south of Austin in Bandera County in Lost Maples State Natural Area. The Big-toothed maple is listed in "Native and Adapted Landscape Plants: an Earth-wise Guide for Central Texas" published by the City of Austin and Texas Cooperative Extension. You can pick up a copy of this publication at many local nurseries. You can find nurseries and seed companies that specialize in native plants by visiting the National Suppliers Directory.
 

More Trees Questions

Growth rate of the American beech tree from West Hartford CT
May 25, 2010 - What is the growth rate of an American beech tree?
view the full question and answer

Honeybees swarming around galls on oak trees
September 28, 2015 - A large number of honeybees have descended on a live oak tree in my backyard. They appear to be feeding on the numerous galls on the tree as if they were flowers. What's going on?
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for plants for a privacy screen in Long Beach, NY.
August 10, 2011 - I have recently added 1500sq.ft. to my backyard. My backyard faces a busy road. I would like to place native trees and bushes along the fence for added privacy, shade and to protect my house from the...
view the full question and answer

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

Norway Pine vs. Norway Spruce
April 28, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is a Norway Pine the same species of tree as a Norway Spruce?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.