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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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Tuesday - February 28, 2006

From: Roxton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Alternatives to non-Texas native pin cherry for Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Dear Ms. Smarty Plants, I learned that the fire cherry/ pin cherry is a very hardy tree, and that it is very drought resistant. I live in zone 7, on black land, which becomes very dry in the summer. I am unable to find a nursery where I can buy it. Do you have any suggestions on where I might find one? Thanks in advance.

ANSWER:

Fire cherry, or, pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica), is not native to Texas and we would not recommend your growing it in your area. Perhaps you could consider substituting one of its relatives native to Lamar County, such as Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana) or Cherry laurel (Prunus caroliniana). Some other choices native to your part of Texas that are both cold-hardy and drought-resistant are Yaupon (Ilex vomitoria), Redbud (Cercis canadensis) and Rusty black-haw (Viburnum rufidulum).

You can search for nurseries that carry native plants in your area in the National Suppliers Directory. You might also check with a local chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas near you, such as the Collin County Chapter, the Trinity Forks Chapter, or the Dallas Chapter for nurseries that specialize in native plants.
 

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