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
1 rating

Friday - January 27, 2006

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton


I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Texas Red Oak, Texas Sycamore and other oak trees that I am having difficulty identifying. These oaks are the reason why I am writing this since I am wondering if you can help in identifying them. They are deciduous, are largely upright, are growing out of limestone, range from 20 to 50 feet in height and have fairly short, stubby branches which seem to alternate branching to the left and then to the right from the main trunk as one looks up the tree. The bark has "ridges" and is grey. I am relatively new to the area and have not seen the acorns or leaves. Perhaps my best bet is to wait until summer? Hope you can help!


You probably will have to wait till spring to be absolutely sure what they are, but this sounds like a fairly good description of Post Oak (Quercus stellata). Here are more images from Vanderbilt University of the post oak.

Black-jack Oak (Q. marilandica), is also a possibility. You can see more images of the black-jack oak from Vanderbilt and from Duke University.

Unless you saw acorns and/or oak-type leaves on the trees, its also possible that you've misidentified the tree as an oak. It could be a Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia), which also generally fits your description. Here are more images from Vanderbilt of the cedar elm.

More Trees Questions

Non-native Norfolk Pine suffering in Corpus Christi TX
August 02, 2011 - About ten yrs. ago I transplanted my Norfolk Pine into the ground in my backyard. With all the frosty weather of 2010/2011 the Spring brought a browning/dying of a lot of the Norfolk Pines in this are...
view the full question and answer

Long term effects of pesticide from Lubbock TX
March 20, 2013 - I have 9 western pecan trees about 20 years old. Trunk sizes is from 18" to 39". I used a product Bayer Tree and Shrub, applied to the trees. I wonder what it will do to the trees. I talkd to Bayer ...
view the full question and answer

Trees blooming white in East Tennessee in April
April 07, 2010 - What kind of tree is blooming now, 4\6\10 in the mountains of east TN. They have white blooms?
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
view the full question and answer

I need a tall tree with kind roots for a narrow space
March 11, 2009 - We have a space in the yard where a building is within 3 to 6 feet of where we would like a tall tree. What tree could achieve two stories in height, while not messing with the foundation of the bu...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center