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

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native Texas tree for anniversary in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband and I would like to plant a tree in our yard commemorating our 5 year anniversary (wood anniversary). What native Texas tree can we plant in June? I love Red buds and any pretty blooming trees; my husband wants a hardy, fast-growing shade tree. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

What a truly lovely idea! And Mr. Smarty Plants learns something every single day; we had no idea that the 5th wedding anniversary was wood. The only caution we would make, before we suggest some trees, is that you defer planting whatever tree you choose until December. Give each other a wooden reminder note or something of the sort. Your tree will have a much better chance of surviving and thriving if it is planted during the semi-dormancy of cool weather. The heat and dry weather in Austin in June can be daunting to anyone, and a fresh young tree with its little hair roots possibly damaged in transplanting needs every break it can get.

You say you want a pretty flowering tree, and your husband wants a fast-growing shade tree. We don't ordinarily recommend fast-growing trees, as they tend to break down readily, be easily damaged and short-lived. But there are some that grow fairly fast that would do. And we have just about stopped recommending oaks in the Austin area, because of the Oak Wilt problems here. Red oaks and live oaks are particularly susceptible to the disease, but there is one other oak that is moderately fast growing (for an oak) and pretty resistant to Oak Wilt. Because any tree will help to cool the area around your house, provide some shade, and add to the appearance of the yard, we will find several that we think would fit your specifications. To do this, we will go to the Recommended Species of our Native Plant Database, select on Central Texas and "trees" under Habit. If you would like to see more possibilities, you can repeat this procedure. Follow each plant link to the webpage on that individual plant to read about its expected size and appearance. To find out still more, go to the bottom of that webpage to the Google link to the Latin name of the tree. And Happy Anniversary!

Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) - 6 to 12 ft. tall, rapid growing, deciduous, blooms white, pink March to May. low water use, part shade

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - 10 to 20 ft., deciduous, blooms pink, purple March and April, medium water use, sun or part shade

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms white, pink, purple April to September, low water use, sun

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms pink, yellow April and May, low water use, sun or part shade

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) - 30 to 45 ft. tall, deciduous, water use low, part shade

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

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) - to 100 ft. height and width, deciduous, medium water use, sun, part shade, shade

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - evergreen, to 30 ft. tall, blooms blue, purple February and March, medium water use, sun or part shade

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) - 50 to 75 ft. tall, deciduous, medium water use, sun or part shade


Bauhinia lunarioides

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Cotinus obovatus

Fraxinus texensis

Prunus mexicana

Quercus macrocarpa

Sophora secundiflora

Taxodium distichum

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Transplant shock in Chinkapin oak from Copperas Cove TX
June 18, 2012 - I have a newly planted chinkapin oak, appx 14' tall, in the Copperas Cove TX area. It has done great for the first two weeks. Now the leaves are yellowing (June) and beginning to dry up. I water it ...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen trees with highest value for birds
April 02, 2007 - What native evergreen trees have the highest value for bird seed/fruit (other than Juniperus virginiana)?
view the full question and answer

Is any part of Mountain Laurel poisonous to goats from Belton TX
May 02, 2013 - We are considering planting Mountain Laurel in a field where we keep goats. Will any part of the Mountain Laurel be poisonous if eaten by the goats? If it would be poisonous, could you suggest some o...
view the full question and answer

Small native trees for northern Virginia
September 27, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple in northern Virginia. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my...
view the full question and answer

Difference in native and non-native cherry laurel
October 02, 2014 - I have a backyard volunteer that I have identified as a cherry laurel, but how do I tell the Carolina from the non-native? This is still young (2 years or so), and not flowering, at least not now.
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