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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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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

QUESTION:

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?

ANSWER:

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.

 

 

 

 

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