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
1 rating

Monday - September 28, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees to hide telephone poles and wires
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I am looking for trees to plant between my house and the street to hide telephone poles and wires. My top priority is to add strong, gold color in the fall. Spring flowers would be a plus. Because of the wires, I plan to trim the trees to keep an oval shape and maintain their height at approximately 50 feet. I also need to provide clearance from the wires to prevent future hacking by the telephone company. Will tulip poplars or thornless honeylocust survive in my area and with annual trimming?

ANSWER:

Both Gleditsia triacanthos (honeylocust) and Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree) grow in Harris County and both tolerate pruning. 

Here are several other choices that have yellow fall foliage for the Houston area:

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree) with white flowers in the spring and yellow leaves in the fall. Here are more photos and information.

Ulmus americana (American elm) with yellow fall foliage and here is more information.

Ostrya virginiana (hophornbeam) with yellow fall foliage and here is more information.

Quercus phellos (willow oak) with yellow fall leaves. Here is more information.

You can see more possibilities in our Texas-East Recommended list—use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option and select 'Tree' from General Appearance.  The Texas Forest Service has the Texas Tree Planting Guide with more choices and the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas has a PDF file of Information Pages that give lists of native plants recommended for the Houston area. 

You might also like to read our article, "How to Prune a Tree."


Gleditsia triacanthos

Liriodendron tulipifera

Chionanthus virginicus

Ulmus americana

Ostrya virginiana

Quercus phellos

 

 

More Trees Questions

Is a Mexican plum planted last Spring in Houston ready to bloom
April 08, 2011 - I live in Houston, TX. I bought my Mexican Plum last late Spring. It was about 4' tall. It is now about 6' tall, very healthy with lots of beautiful leaves. It gets a lot of sun. It did not blo...
view the full question and answer

Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
July 14, 2011 - I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
view the full question and answer

Chinkapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergeii) weeping sap
October 14, 2010 - Help, help! Our Chinkapin Oak is weeping sap along the trunk. There is no sign of damage. What can we do?
view the full question and answer

Digging sassafras roots in Oklahoma
March 11, 2009 - When should I dig sassafras roots in eastern Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI
April 30, 2012 - I have a mountain ash that is about 5 years old & have just noticed white, patchy, scaly looking spots on the bark. Is this something to be concerned about???
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