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
Not Yet Rated

Monday - November 16, 2009

From: Columbia, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Small tree for yard in Columbia TN
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a somewhat small yard but the construction workers put a water and sewer drain in the middle of my yard. The sewer main is located on the far side of my property my width of yard is 60 feet width from street to house is 27 feet. I want a low root system tree to plant. I don't want a big tree(over 30ft). What type of tree should I get?

ANSWER:

The fact that you are looking for a small tree makes this much easier. The extent that roots go out from a tree often is comparable to the width of the canopy. Obviously, you want to get as far from both the drain and the main when you plant the tree, but don't ignore  possible problems, like driveways, sidewalks, foundations or curbs. Your tree could cause just as much trouble getting involved with those hardscapes as it could with the drain. We are not too good at visualizing, but it sounds like, if there are no other restraining factors, you could plant a tree about 14 ft. from from the drain, and position it halfway to the property line opposite the main. Another good thing about these four suggested trees is that they all have nice blooms, and all are native to Tennessee and near to Maury County, in Central Tennessee. For more possibilities, you can go to our Native Plant Database, and narrow your search by clicking on Tennessee and then "tree" under General Appearance. By reading the page from our database on each plant, you can learn what its growth characteristics are, what sunlight requirements it has,and how much moisture it needs.

Small trees for Columbia, TN:

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms pink March to May, low water use, part shade or shade

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree) - 15 to 30 ft., deciduous, blooms white April and May, high water use, part shade

Magnolia virginiana (sweetbay) - 12 to 20 ft. tall, evergreen in the South, blooms white April to July, high water use, part shade

Prunus americana (American plum) - to 35 ft. tall, deciduous, medium water use, sun, part shade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Cercis canadensis

Chionanthus virginicus

Magnolia virginiana

Prunus americana

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

Recommend a plant similar to Corkscrew Willow for Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - Do corkscrew willows do well in Austin, TX? If not, can you recommend a willow like tree to plant along the banks of a creek?
view the full question and answer

Foundation Landscape Tree Suggestion for New Jersey
March 05, 2013 - I need to replace a shrub (boxwood) in a landscaped area directly in front of my house. I would like a tree that grows about 10-15' maximum. However, I have a drainpipe that runs from the house to th...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Texas mountain laurel growing so slowly?
July 22, 2015 - I have a Mountain Laurel, Anacacho Orchid Tree and Desert Willow on the northern side of our yard - all three get full sun most of the day. The Mountain Laurel is closer to the east side. The other...
view the full question and answer

Small flowering tree for cemetery in TX
November 07, 2010 - I am looking for a native large shrub or small tree to plant at a cemetery in Pflugerville, TX, preferable something with flowers. I need something that won't have a large root system that would dis...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center