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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - July 23, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Native tree or shrub with fruit to espalier on fence
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in the Austin, TX area and I would like to choose a native tree or shrub to espalier on a fence in my garden. Ideally, I would like to use a tree that bears fruit. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

The University of Florida IFAS Extension has a very good article, Espaliers, that describes how to create and care for them that you might like to read  They also have tables of recommended species, but you should be aware that some of the species they recommend are not native and some are even considered invasive in Texas (e.g., Ligustrum japonicum).  Please don't plant invasives!  Here are a few recommendations for native trees from their list as well as some additional ones:

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) and Prunus rivularis (creek plum) both produce edible plums.

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) is evergreen and the female plants have red berries that the birds like to eat.

Ilex decidua (possumhaw) is deciduous and female plants produce red berries for the birds.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) has beautiful blooms for a couple of weeks in February and March.

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) is evergreen.

Rhus virens (evergreen sumac) is evergreen and has attractive flowers in the spring.

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw) has showy spring flowers, dark blue berries and beautiful fall colors.

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) has edible fruits on the female trees.

Morus microphylla (Texas mulberry) produces edible fruits.

Vitis mustangensis (mustang grape) is a vine, of course, but it produces woody branches that would do well as an espalier and it does produce edible grapes that make delicious jelly.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:


Prunus mexicana

Prunus rivularis

Ilex vomitoria

Ilex decidua

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Juniperus virginiana

Rhus virens

Viburnum rufidulum

Diospyros texana

Morus microphylla

Vitis mustangensis

 

 


 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Five-eight foot hedge for north Texas
September 06, 2013 - I am looking to find a fairly large (preferably flowering) shrub / hedge to go along 100 feet of fence. The plants will be facing Northeast, but will be for the most part under the branches of crape m...
view the full question and answer

Wildlife Attracting Plants for a Shady Patio
July 03, 2014 - We have a concrete patio that receives 2-3 hours of sunlight a day, so the only plants we will be able to grow will be in container. We are looking for plants that do well in shade, and containers and...
view the full question and answer

Native shrub to replace non-native azaleas.
February 10, 2009 - I want to replace my two dozen azaleas this spring (I think they're unattractive once the flowers fall off). I like the multiseason characteristics of weigela (midnight wine, W&R), but want to go na...
view the full question and answer

Native trees or shrubs for containers on roof in Wisconsin
March 17, 2010 - Looking for native trees/shrubs to be planted in containers on a flat roof w/south-southeast exposure. Gets pretty warm in the summer and pretty cold in the winter. How big would the container have to...
view the full question and answer

Planting non-native sago palm and philodendron from Pflugerville TX
September 15, 2012 - I have a small/young sago palm and philodendron I'd like to plant. Do you advise to plant them now with fall/winter approaching or wait until next spring.
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