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

Fragrant tree found in Savannah
May 12, 2009 - I was in Savannah last weekend and as we were walking through one of the side streets we were hit with the fragrance of Lilac. I grew up around Lilac bushes but never expected a full in bloom single ...
view the full question and answer

Controlling a shrub/tree with lots of thorns and flowers similar to beebrush, but lots of thorns
July 08, 2014 - I live in Horseshoe Bay, Llano County with 1.5 acres of natural habitat. There is a plant that I have always called Cat's Claw but in researching Cat's Claw, I may have misidentified it. It has a fl...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Desert Willow in clay soil in Fredericksburg, TX
November 25, 2005 - I have recently purchased a house in a new subdivision in Fredericksburg, TX. The lot was not landscaped. I have a small lot (85 X 135), my back yard is about 50 X 85. The soil is a heavy clay. I am c...
view the full question and answer

Yellow, pale green leaves on Cedar Elms in Texas
August 30, 2008 - I have had several cedar elms of various sizes planted in our yard over the last 10 years. Only the largest has dark green, healthy looking leaves. All the others have yellowish, pale green leaves. Th...
view the full question and answer

Deciduous tree with tap root
August 04, 2008 - I have a 13 foot space between two town houses and would like to plant a slender deciduous tree up to 30 feet in height with a tendency to tap root so as not to disturb the foundation of the houses. ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center