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

Native trees for small backyard in California
May 28, 2008 - I have a small backyard and very close to my neighbor. I want to plant trees that grow 15/20 high that can work as a screen although I have to be very careful with invasive roots. Also I have two sma...
view the full question and answer

Planting live oak trees in summer in Austin
June 09, 2011 - We would like to plant a few live oak trees in our front yard for shade and animal protection. As it is very hot and dry right now, can we plant now? If not, when?
view the full question and answer

Hurricane damage to pecan tree
November 12, 2008 - The recent hurricane twisted the top out of our pecan tree, leaving a couple still attached but down on the ground. Could we cut all of the damage off and just leave the trunk? Would there be a chan...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Texas madrone tree in Weatherford, TX
September 27, 2005 - I live in Weatherford, Texas (Parker County). Will a Madrone tree make it ok here and who sells them?
view the full question and answer

Dying Bigelow oaks in Austin
July 30, 2010 - I have several stands of Bigelow Oak (Q.sinuata var. breviloba) in NW Austin mixed with Yaupon and Cedar Elms. Several have died each year for the past 8 years. Two now have brown, dry leaves which is...
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.