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

Sunday - February 13, 2011

From: Waxhaw, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Planting, Trees
Title: Are Eastern White Pine suitable for Waxhaw NC
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Pinus strobus ( White Pine )- I wish to plant four of these evergreens along our property lines as a screen. Our county is selling one foot plants in a container. Our soil is clay. Are these trees suitable for our area ? Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks you have a reasonably good choice there.

Pinus strobus (Eastern white pine) has a native population in North Carolina; however these natural stands appear to be primarily to the west and in the great Smokey Mountains.  Depending on how clayey your soil is, you are correct to be concerned about how successful they will be.  The plant record for the Eastern white pine indicates that its native habitat is upland, mesic sand or loam sites, north slopes, or rocky stream banks.  The soils that they like are fertile, moist, well-drained soils, and like most pines they prefer an acidic soil.  Do you have other pines living close successfully?  If so, then the Eastern White Pine will likely do just fine there, especially if you give them loving care in the first two to three years as they establish themselves.

                   
       Pinus strobus                             Pinus strobus

 It strikes me that if the County is selling the trees, that is a fair indication that they can be planted successfully and also that you have  knowledgeable people to ask about the success of growing that tree in your local area!  However, if the folks selling the trees appear to be less than knowledgeable – you may want to go directly to the County Extension office.  The Union County Extension has a nice website here.

You should have planting instructions that come with the trees. If not, here are the basics:

Dig the hole as deep as the tree is planted in its container. Make the hole wide so the roots will have plenty of room to grow. Cover the hole back with the original soil, mulch with some compost, making sure the mulch is pulled back 2 inches from the base of the tree. Water thoroughly and deeply.

 

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Problems with Carolina Laurel Cherry from Pflugerville, TX
September 02, 2011 - In 2007 we planted 7 Carolina Laurelcherry (Prunus caroliniana)across our back fence. Everything was fine until this year. Three of the trees seemed to get sick and a local arborist said the roots ne...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping in Austin
August 24, 2009 - I am planning to convert a pretty large portion (app. 500 sq feet) of my front yard from St. Augustine to an area with native and well-adapted plants. I have solarized the area to kill off grass and ...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in non-native crape myrtle from Wesley Chapel, FL
June 12, 2012 - I just bought a 12 ft. crape myrtle and planted it, giving it plenty of water I think. After 3 days the leaves are wilting and flowers are falling off.
view the full question and answer

Yellowing leaves on yaupon in Ft. Worth
April 23, 2009 - I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon Holly in January in full sun. It is blooming little white flowers right now for spring, but a lot of leaves are turning yellow. Do you know what is causing this? ...
view the full question and answer

Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
September 01, 2012 - In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center