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?


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
1 rating

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


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


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



More Trees Questions

Trees for cutout in driveway in Houston
November 12, 2010 - I live in central Houston. I have a new driveway with a cutout of 4' x 8'. I would like to plant a shade tree that will not break up the concrete. What do you recommend?
view the full question and answer

Trees for small spaces from San Jose CA
May 09, 2011 - What tree can you plant in a corner of a yard 3ft from a fence? What is the best shade tree for a small yard with a pool?
view the full question and answer

Wilting of Mountain Ash in Wisconsin
August 21, 2008 - What type of disease would cause a Mountain Ash to entirely wilt? The bark on bottom of tree is opening up and is spongy feeling. No sign of any disease until last month and it quickly wilted with b...
view the full question and answer

Looking for fruit and nut trees to plant in San Augustine, TX
April 05, 2011 - I am setting up residence in San Augustine, Texas on approximately 9 acres of land. We wanted to plant a few of each type of fruit and nut trees that would prosper in the area (for wildlife and for o...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for under a black walnut from Lansing MI
October 04, 2012 - What native plants can you recommend that will grow in Michigan under a mature black walnut tree?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center