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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Sunday - June 21, 2009

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tall, narrow evergreen for front of house in Flower Mound, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Please recommend a tall, narrow evergreen to be placed at the front corner of my house.

ANSWER:

Your request for a tall, narrow evergreen is a tall order. You are likely thinking of some of the non-native cypresses when you specified that description. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant native to an area will be adjusted to the rainfall, climate and soils of that area, and will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. Three that we found coming closest to your desired plant all represent some compromises. Also, you must be careful about how close to your house you plant any tree. Just because they are somewhat columnar in shape doesn't mean the roots are. The roots may spread out up to three times the circumference of the mature tree, and will interfere with foundations, sidewalks and driveways. None of these trees will retain a totally conical shape over their lifespan; some pruning might be possible, but as the trees grow larger, that will no longer be feasible.

Trees for North Central Texas

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) - evergreen, grows to 30 to 40 ft., narrow, compact and columnar crown, low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) - deciduous, 50 to 75 ft., slender and conical in youth, medium water use, sun or part shade

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - shrub or small tree, evergreen, 12 to 20 ft., upright, low water use, part shade


Juniperus virginiana

Taxodium distichum

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

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