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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - May 25, 2010

From: amarillo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Do Maple trees and Poplars grow well in Amarillo,TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Do maple trees and poplars grow well in Amarillo Texas? I love the fall reds, oranges, and yellows. If they don't grow well can you recommend some trees that have the color that will grow well?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you are out of luck with maple trees. A native texas maple is  Acer rubrum (red maple), and looking at the USDA distribution map for this native plant, we see that it doesn't occur naturally anywhere near Amarillo. This is a clue.

Poplar trees are in the genus Populus and one Texas native is Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood). Looking at its UDSA distribution map is more promising.

Using the Custom Tree Selector in the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service, we can get help with finding other trees for you area. Let's start by filling in the County, Potter; select the proper answer for option 1, or leave it at "not sure"; select no preference for Option 2; select Deciduous forOption 3; select  "is a Texas native" and "has reliable fall color" for Option 4; and select "Is extremely droughty" for Option 5. Click on the Show Trees button and you will get a list of trees that match these criteria and are suitable for growing in Potter County. You can modify the list by changing the criteria.


Populus deltoides
 

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