Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 18, 2010

From: El Paso, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shade tree for El Paso, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

hi there, I am looking to plant a shade tree in front of my house, about 10ft away from my house and about 6ft away from the sidewalk. I live in El Paso TX and I am afraid that the tree roots will interfere with the water pipes which are about 6ft away from where I want to plant the tree. Which shade trees would you recommend?

ANSWER:

You can visit our Texas-West Recommended page and use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select 'Tree' from the GENERAL APPEARANCE area.  This will give you a list of trees native to your area that are suitable for landscaping and are commercially available. 

Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) has a tap root and is not likely to cause problems with water line.

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow)  There is no indication that this tree has roots that will cause problems.

Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) Surface roots are not usually a problem.  Here is more information.

Juglans microcarpa (little walnut)  There is no indication that this tree has roots that will cause problems.

Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite)  Surface roots are not usually a problem.  Here is more information.

Quercus emoryi (Emory oak)  There is no indication that this tree has roots that will cause problems.

Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)  Surface roots not usually a problem.  Here is more information.

Quercus grisea (gray oak)  There is no indication that this tree has roots that will cause problems.

You can check out other trees on the Texas-West Recommended page.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Arbutus xalapensis

Chilopsis linearis

Cupressus arizonica

Juglans microcarpa

Prosopis glandulosa

Quercus emoryi

Quercus muehlenbergii

Quercus grisea

 


 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
March 19, 2013 - A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has er...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shady Woodland in MA
June 09, 2013 - Hello, I am looking for natives to plant in full shade or part shade. My house is in the mountain woodland area of Mt. Washington, MA. I am looking for grasses, flowers and shrubs. Also I am looking f...
view the full question and answer

Want salt, shade, drought tolerant plant for Rochester, New York
September 21, 2010 - I am looking for a ground cover plant for western NY to grow on a strip alongside a road that gets very little sun in summer (lots of tree branches shading it). It gets a lot of road salt in winter a...
view the full question and answer

Grass for shady area
June 21, 2011 - I need to find a grass that can grow in a shady area, with some sun. Drought resistant and preferably native to the area. Would like to find a sod if possible. I know it's not a great time to plant n...
view the full question and answer

Lawn for a Shady & Wet area in Austin, TX
July 22, 2015 - We have a drainage area that has appeared in our back yard since the neighbors’ homes were built. When we get heavy rains (like this year) all their drainage flows into our back yard and forms a river...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.