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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 06, 2009

From: Ft. Towson, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native tree for cemetery in Western Oklahoma
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My siblings and I are wanting to plant a tree next to my Mother's grave at the cemetery. It is in Western Oklahoma so hot sun and constant high wind are both considerations to choosing the right tree. We can amend the soil upon planting and there is plenty of water available so those will not be issues. A Bradford Pear has been suggested but one is planted fairly close so we would prefer something different that would be suitable but fairly low maintenance besides the watering.

ANSWER:

Please don't plant a Bradford pear. They are non-native and certainly are not adapted to your described environment. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we are committed to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant growing where its ancestors have grown for thousands of years will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance.You didn't mention where in Western Oklahoma, but we will take a look at the region and make sure we select only trees that grow in that part of the state. We will go to our Recommended Species list, click on Oklahoma on the map, Narrow Your Search to "tree" (for habit), and look at the possibilities. We found four that, according to the USDA Plant Profile are native to Western Oklahoma, have attractive blooms in the spring, and can get along fine with minimal care. 

Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum) - evergreen, 15 to 30 ft. tall, blooms white February to May, medium water use, sun or part shade

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) - deciduous, 15 to 35 ft., blooms white, pink February to April, low water use, sun or part shade

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree) - deciduous to 36 ft., blooms white, green, brown in April, high water use, sun, part shade or shade

Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii (western soapberry) - deciduous, 10 to 50 ft. tall, blooms white May and June, low water use, sun or part shade


Prunus angustifolia

Prunus mexicana

Ptelea trifoliata

Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Sprouts from stems of plants from Happy Yard IN
September 28, 2013 - Is it normal for a plant to start a sprout from its own root system next to the stock/stem? Is it trying to regrow?
view the full question and answer

Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
April 12, 2010 - I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow from Hazlet NJ
July 03, 2013 - Leaves turning yellow on weeping willow planted in May. What causes this and how can I fix it? Mother's Day gift after SANDY uprooted huge tree.
view the full question and answer

Galls on live oak tree in Austin
December 12, 2013 - I live in Austin, and have a 13 year old live oak in my yard. It has developed little spheres, kind of like green peas, on the underside of the leaves. What is it? Is it harmful? Is there somethin...
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
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