En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

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

 

 

More Trees Questions

Trees that aren't poisonous or don't have poisonous berries for dogs
January 20, 2010 - What trees are not poisonous or have poison berries for dogs?
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

Tree with no invasive roots for Los Angeles
July 24, 2011 - I have a large in ground planter sharing the outside wall (on south/east corner) of my house in east LA 90032. I would like to find a tree that grows quite tall (2 story building), but grows roots ver...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for NY
February 26, 2012 - I am looking for a native evergreen shrub that could be used as a hedge or privacy screen on the Rockaway peninsula in Queens county. It is a beach community with sand soil ( except where it has been...
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs for a privacy screen in Glendale CA
October 30, 2014 - Dear. Mr. Smarty Plants I need to grow a tall hedge 15-20 feet minimum to block a condo complex which overlooks my back yard. I need a fast growing hedge which is non toxic to dogs and one which roo...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center