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
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

Mountain Laurel growing in East Texas
April 24, 2008 - I found a plant that looks like a Texas Mountain Laurel growing wild on a fenceline in east texas, near Canton. It is a small shrub/tree and has flowers like wisteria. It has "hairy" stems, they ar...
view the full question and answer

A tree to replace a pin oak in PA
January 25, 2011 - My 120 yr old pin oak has root and butt rot, 5 of 13 roots dead by pressure testing. I am in Pittsburgh PA. I want to plant a root rot resistant tree, either evergreen, fir or deciduous. The tree is 9...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in sycamore in Kyle TX
August 04, 2011 - I'm trying to assist an elderly neighbor of mine with a plant issue. We have designated street trees in this community, our street being a Sycamore. The previous foreman out here called it a Mexica...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and trees to protect beehives in Godley TX
April 06, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is there a (relatively) fast growing native small tree or large shrub (NOT cedar) that tolerates Johnson County clay, full sun, sometimes damp and sometimes dry soil with no...
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