Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

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

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Live oak wobbling in the ground from Austin
May 02, 2012 - I have a live oak that was not planted firmly in the ground by the subdivision builder's landscapers. The entire tree is wobbly to the touch and it has come close to dying as result of windy condit...
view the full question and answer

Mystery tree in Ontario
July 06, 2011 - I found a tree (similar to an apple tree in blossom) in a shaded area by a stream on our property. I have never seen anything like it. It is again, like an apple branch with the blossoms, however, t...
view the full question and answer

Texas native peach from Elmendorf TX
January 30, 2013 - Does Texas have a native peach tree that grows wild?
view the full question and answer

Project on natives in Connecticut from Chino CA
April 13, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My 10 yr. old daughter is doing a project on Ct., and would like to know what the most common plants, trees and flowers are found in this state. A few of each would be a great ...
view the full question and answer

Use of fresh clippings from tree trimmers for mulch in Austin
May 02, 2010 - Hi, The tree trimmers are in my neighborhood (east central Austin) to clear the power lines and said I can have a load of free mulch. I am wondering if there is any harm in using the fresh mulch from...
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.