En Español

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

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

Wednesday - December 08, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Propagation
Title: Looking for an apple tree to plant in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I want to plant an apple tree in my yard that bears fruit and will provide habitat and shade. Are any varieties that will do well in the South Austin area? And do I have to plant two trees to get fruit?


The only apples native to North America are the Crabapples which are very tart, and different from the apples you probably have in mind. The more than 6,000 varieties of apples available today are decendents of apples that grew in the region between the Caspian and Black Sea in Asia.

This article from Aggie Horticulture tells you about the varieties that  are suitable for the area. It deals with the selection of trees , and how to plant them and care for them. It is directed more  toward establishing an orchard, but you can extract the information that you need. Additional information about growing apples  can be found at this link from associatedcontent.com.. It tells you that apple trees must cross pollinate for optimum production, so you will need to plant two trees.

This link from University of Illinois Extension has some interesting Apple Facts that you can enjoy while having your daily apple.





More Propagation Questions

Germination of Passiflora suberosa in Monterrey Mexico
October 26, 2009 - Hello, I need recommendation on how to germinate Passiflora seeds. I have a Passiflora suberosa plant, not on your database but native, and have fresh fuits of it. They look very much like a blueber...
view the full question and answer

Western red cedar (Thuja plicata) frost tolerance, making cuttings
October 08, 2007 - Dear Madam or Sir, It would be very kind, if you could answer my questions about the “Thuja Plicata atrovirens” alias “Western Red Cedar”. I need the information because a good friend of mine ...
view the full question and answer

Planting time for native yucca seeds
August 11, 2008 - When and how do you plant yucca plant seeds and or/pods ? I took them off of the stalks when I cut the stalks today .
view the full question and answer

Save and store pigeonberry seeds from Austin
July 20, 2009 - What is the best way to save and store pigeonberry seeds?
view the full question and answer

Propagating a magnolia by cuttings in Rochester, NY
May 15, 2009 - How can I start a magnolia snip from my already existing tree, to grow another one from it, like a starter to pass on to someone?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center