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

Thursday - April 23, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Suitability of Monterrey oaks for small space in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am purchasing a home and the existing owners have planted three Monterrey oaks in the back. It is a small yard and the trees are no more than 15 feet from the house.The trees back up to a fence that separates the neighbors yard. Are these trees suitable for that amount of space? Will I have to remove them?

ANSWER:

We hate to suggest removing any native tree in Texas, and Quercus polymorpha (netleaf white oak) is a good West Texas tree, semi-evergreen to evergreen in San Antonio. It is more resistant to oak wilt than some other oaks. Fifteen feet from your foundation is probably far enough to avoid any serious conflict between roots and foundation. The tree can grow up to heights of 80 Ft. and spreading 60 ft. wide. But, hey, that could take 50 years-how long are you planning to stay in that house? Oaks grow at a moderate speed, and the shade, privacy and appearance of the tree would seem to be well worth preserving. Having said that, you need to be aware you're probably not going to have much luck growing anything under them, but you can always cover the ground where nothing will grow with a good quality shredded hardwood mulch, which will hold in moisture and protect the roots from heat, as well as aid in the drainage and nutrition of the soil.

The next question, of course, is how does this affect your neighbors? You might want to check to see if spreading roots will interfere with hardscape in their yards, or if they like having the trees there, too.


Quercus polymorpha

 


Quercus polymorpha

Quercus polymorpha
 

More Trees Questions

Note on pond over oak roots from Round Rock TX
December 23, 2012 - Thanks very much to Barbara for answering my question about the live oaks - covering parts of their root systems with a pond. Your answer inspired discussion, and we changed our pond plan and moved th...
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing trees for privacy in East Texas
September 02, 2013 - Fast growing tree seeds for my area to create a tree grove for privacy.
view the full question and answer

Neighbor's Arizona ash roots in Houston
September 30, 2009 - There is a huge Arizona Ash tree in my neighbor's yard. Its trunk is about 27 feet away from the foundation of my house and its foliage reaches my roof. I am planning to dig a trench on my side of t...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011 - We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
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