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

Tuesday - April 06, 2010

From: Godley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pollinators, Privacy Screening, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Shrubs and trees to protect beehives in Godley TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is there a (relatively) fast growing native small tree or large shrub (NOT cedar) that tolerates Johnson County clay, full sun, sometimes damp and sometimes dry soil with not very good drainage? Our poor beehives need summer shade and even a small buffer from frequent 20mph winds in our rural area sw of Fort Worth. I check the local gas well landscaping to see what grows, but all I saw there was cedar and unhappy redtip. Thank you!

ANSWER:

As scarce as bees, one of our most important pollinators, have become, we will be glad to help you help them in any way we can. We will definitely give you a list of appropriate shrubs and trees for full sun from our Recommended Species section, and make sure all of them will grow well in or near Johnson County, USDA Hardiness Zone 7b to 8a.

Before you go to the trouble and expense of putting those shrubs in the ground, may we suggest you do something to the ground to make it more hospitable? You say you have clay soil, most of your area of North Central Texas does, and that makes it difficult to get good drainage for roots in the soil. If you will take the time to work some compost or other organic material into the area where your shrubs or trees are going to grow, it will make a great difference in how well they do. And we're not talking just in the hole for the shrub, but the whole area where the windbreak and shade hedge will be. As those young plants begin to develop and grow, they will do much better if their expanding root structure can find more good, well-draining soil to move into. We also urge you to get this done and your new plants in the ground as soon as possible. It is usually better in Texas to plant woody plants, like trees and shrubs, in Fall or late Winter, when they are semi-dormant. As the summer heat draws rapidly closer, those little plants need to be in the ground, and well-watered until they are established. Mulch the roots with a good shredded bark mulch, which will protect the roots from the heat of the sun, help hold moisture in and, as it decomposes, continue to improve the texture of the soil.

In our Recommended Species section we will click first on North Central Texas and then on Central Texas to search for shrubs and trees that will serve your purpose. Pretty much they are the same plants in both areas, and Johnson County is kind of in-between, so these should all work. Some are evergreen, some are not; follow each plant link to the page on that plant to get more information. 

Shrubs for Full Sun in Johnson County, TX:

Eysenhardtia texana (Texas kidneywood)

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon)

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush)

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac)

Trees for Full Sun in Johnson County, TX:

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)

Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Eysenhardtia texana

Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Rhus virens

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Platanus occidentalis

Quercus macrocarpa

 

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Evergreen sumacs for privacy along fence
August 02, 2014 - I would like to plant enough Evergreen Sumacs along our fence for privacy for the length of our backyard which is 60 ft. Fifteen feet on the left and right ends are shaded with the right side being d...
view the full question and answer

Will shoes pick up American Beautyberry fruit and stain carpets?
March 21, 2010 - Do the berries from American Beautyberry fall on the ground so your shoes pick up the berries to stain the carpet in my house?
view the full question and answer

Fruit crops to grow in Tennessee mountains
May 27, 2013 - My property has a lot of rock formations throughout it and has hundreds of cedars where it is not pasture. I am wanting to grow fruit trees and berry bushes but don't know what can grow in this e...
view the full question and answer

Moderate-sized trees for lawn in West Virginia
August 10, 2014 - I recently had a landscape design completed by a professional lanscape company. The landscape is sloping down in front of my house. At the corner they included a Sweet Bay Magnolia, which we like ve...
view the full question and answer

Small shrubs for landscape in Kansas
April 20, 2013 - I am intersted in small shrubs for the landscaping in front of our house located in Topeka,KS. Many of the shrubs I looked at are 5 foot in width in height. The plants will receive morning sun.
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