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
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

Further explanation of retaining walls and trees from Washington MO
March 11, 2013 - I had a question previously about putting retaining walls across the root system of a 40' tall bald cypress tree(not like spokes on a wheel, but concentric to tree trunk). How wide can the walls be? ...
view the full question and answer

Companion plants for Douglas fir in Federal Way, WA
May 11, 2009 - What are good companion plants for large Douglas Fir trees? we have 5 large trees in our cul-de-sac "island" and would like to plant something colorful around the trees. It's very dry, shady, and c...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping in Bertram TX
September 25, 2009 - I have a landscaping job in Bertram, Texas and am looking for all my options as far as full and partial shade somewhat hardy plants. I'm mainly looking for small plants and pretty flowers I can do wi...
view the full question and answer

Need help diagnosing a problem with Bur Oak in Plano, TX
April 28, 2010 - I planted a bur oak 8 or 9 years ago. It has grown beautifully until this year. When opening, the leaves are very small (a couple inches) and there are lots of seeds (catkins?). I would hate to los...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Mexican Monterrey Oak in Killeen, TX
September 02, 2009 - I planted a Mexican/Monterrey White Oak in September of 2008. It was about 10 ft tall and about 1 1/4 inches in diameter at the bottom. I kept it watered over the winter and spring and of course, ve...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center