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
3 ratings

Saturday - July 04, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Fast-growing shade tree for Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What is the best fastest growing shade tree for central Texas? Thanks


The following were recommended by the Texas Tree Planting Guide (Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M) as rapidly growing native Texas trees for Travis County:

Quercus polymorpha (netleaf white oak) and more information from the Texas Tree Planting Guide (TTPG).

Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak) and more information from the TTPG.

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) and more information from the TTPG.

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) and more information from the TTPG.

Ulmus americana (American elm) and more information from the TTPG.

You will need to compare the "Growing Conditions" given for each tree to the characteristics of your site to determine which would be the best tree for you.

You can also find more information about them at the City of Austin's Native and Adapted Landscape Plants site.

Quercus polymorpha

Quercus polymorpha

Quercus shumardii

Quercus shumardii

Fraxinus texensis

Fraxinus texensis

Platanus occidentalis

Platanus occidentalis


Ulmus americana

Ulmus americana

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Hardy plant with minimal care for shade in dry soil
June 22, 2009 - I have a weekend house in Hawley, PA where I try to garden - often with poor results. There is a spot on the northeast corner of my foundation where I have put plant after plant - but none of them su...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for Love Grass in Michigan
July 27, 2015 - need a replacement for Love Grass at Shops of Willow Bend in Plano. The entire perimeter of this mall has Bermuda and Love Grass. The Elms and Oaks have grown so the Love Grass is mostly gone. Ther...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers suitable for full sun and partial shade in the Dallas, Texas area
October 22, 2007 - What wildflowers are best for the Dallas area both in sunny and semi shade locations? Are you able to purchase by mail?
view the full question and answer

Shady Container Plant for Austin
August 20, 2014 - I am looking for a tall plant/small shrub/ornamental grass for a very large pot that is placed against the north wall of our Austin home. That spot gets some morning sun in the summer, but virtually ...
view the full question and answer

Competition between Horseherb and Chickweed
July 04, 2014 - Ok, sorry I did it wrong the 1st time!? I live in Houston, and I have chickens! I also have mass amounts of Horseherb, and I want to buy some chickweed seeds and plant it for my chickens! My question ...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center