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
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


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?


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

Osage orange thorn in foot in Redford MO
June 01, 2010 - I ran an osage orange thorn through my foot,it is very sore and very red around it. Is that something I might need to see a dr about, or it is just going to be sore for a couple days. It only happened...
view the full question and answer

Mail order source for Guaiacum angustifolium from Ft. Worth TX
April 16, 2014 - Do you have a mail order source for the seeds of Guaiacum angustifolium? I have looked extensively and cannot find one. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Why didn't the mountain laurels bloom this year in Georgetown, TX?
June 19, 2014 - Why are the mountain laurels not blooming this year, I live in Georgetown, TX?
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy and filtering dust in NY
March 23, 2011 - I live on a very busy, DUSTY, dirt road in Putnam County NY. (zip code 10524) What is the best, fast growing evergreen that I can use for dust control and privacy? I would prefer something that requi...
view the full question and answer

Texas persimmon with scorched leaves from Austin
July 11, 2013 - I planted a Texas Persimmon seedling (five gallon) in my yard in early April. It is in a sunny, well-drained spot, and I have watered it regularly since planting. All was fine until the last weekend i...
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