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
8 ratings

Tuesday - April 14, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need substitute plants for Red Tip Photinia in San Antonio.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Looking to replace Red Tips with major leaf spot infections. Need about third replaced. What suggestions would you have to replace these privacy hedge row type plants? Need a plant that will grow at least 5 feet tall. The plants are provided with water by a drip sprinkler system. Thank You.

ANSWER:

Red Tip Photinia (Photinia x Fraseri) in a non native plant, however it has been widely used as a hedging plant through out the south. With  the spread of the fungal disease Entomosporium leaf spot, many hedges have died or are dying out.

There are several options for replacing the Photinias, and Mr. Smarty Plants hopes that you will choose native species that are better adapted to your area. You can go to our Recommended Species page  and select Central Texas on the map. Click on NARROW YOUR SEARCH, and make the following selections: select Texas under state, Shrub under Habit, Perennial under Duration, and Sun under Light Requirement. Click the Narrow Your Search button and you will get a list of plants to choose from for your hedge. You can alter the list by changing the selected items.

Here are some suggestions from that list:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - evergreen

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - evergreen

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - evergreen, fragrant foliage

Osmanthus americanus (devilwood) - evergreen

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) - evergreen, handsome hedge plant

This Clemson University Extension website thouroughly discusses Photinia, its culture, its problems, and recommended substitutes, although several of their suggestions are non natives. Of particular interest for your situation is the section on Mixed Screens.


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Osmanthus americanus

 


Prunus caroliniana
 

More Trees Questions

Death of mature tulip tree in Raymond IL
June 06, 2010 - We have a mature tulip tree that leafed out and looked very healthy then all of the leaves turned brown and fell off. I think the tree is now dead. We live in the country and have a corn field behind ...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
August 02, 2014 - I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
view the full question and answer

Tree with tap root for small area
August 24, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I'm looking for a tree with a tap root to plant for shade on the side of my patio. i have about a 4 foot area to plant in and it's 8 feet to my neighbors house. ..maybe somet...
view the full question and answer

Secretions of fluid from crepe myrtles
June 09, 2008 - On my crepe myrtle tree I have dozens of 1/2-inch-long narrow bugs that seem to secrete tiny drops of fluid. They appear on the branches of the tree. Are these harmful to the tree? Do I need to do ...
view the full question and answer

Tan, rough, fan-shaped growth on mountain laurels
July 01, 2014 - A tan rough fan-shaped "something" is growing at the end of the mountain laurel branch where the flowers would be .. what is it and can it harm the plant?
view the full question and answer

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