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 - January 11, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?

ANSWER:

Of course, you need to protect the trunks and branches from injury, but equally important is protecting the roots from damage by limiting as much as possible heavy traffic over them.  The University of Minnesota Extension Service's Protecting Trees from Construction Damage:  A Homeowner's Guide has an excellent discussion of possible problems and their solutions. Unfortunately, however, Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) is not on their list of Tree Characteristics showing the tolerance of various trees to construction disturbance; so, to be on the safe side, I would treat the madrone as intermediate or medium in sensitivity at the very least and, perhaps, even as very sensitive to root damage.  Given the difficulties in propagating the tree and its increaing rarity, you should take especial care of your beautiful trees.   Here is a nice discussion of the Texas madrone.

Here are a couple of other excellent articles—Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction from the International Society of Arboriculture and Protecting Trees During Construction from the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service.

 

More Trees Questions

Tree protection during construction
February 18, 2008 - What measures can/should be taken to ensure the health, future of live oaks while building a new home? There are many small to medium oaks on this property, some very close to the house site and the o...
view the full question and answer

Why so many acorns in Houston?
November 16, 2009 - My son's home in Houston has a Live Oak. This year it has dropped MILLIONs of the seed pods. This hasn't happened in the nine years of living there. Is anything wrong with it? It looks OK but he ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for wildlife habitat in West Virginia
February 05, 2008 - We live in the southern region of Summers County in West Virginia. Our yard has a lot of shell and small rocks in it; it is in direct sun light. I would love to have a welcoming hummingbird, butterfly...
view the full question and answer

Is western soapberry (Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii) dioecious?
February 15, 2008 - Hi! I found different information on the flowering habits of the western soapberry, Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii. Is it dioecious or polygamo-dioecious or none of them? I have some little seed...
view the full question and answer

White pine insect problems
October 08, 2009 - We live in The Woodlands TX. Some of our large pine trees have leaking sap and one is dead. What can we do to save the one's still alive?
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