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

Perennial blooming plants for Ashland MO
April 02, 2010 - I am beginning to create a flower bed in front of my house, I do not have a green thumb so I want to know what plants would come back yearly and I can plant now in Mid Missouri?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing vine for cinder block wall in Albuquerque
July 26, 2010 - I live in Albuquerque, N.M. and have a cement/cinder block wall and was wondering if there is a vine I can plant which will be easy to grow, grow fast and cover my wall without any type of help like a...
view the full question and answer

Use of free cedar mulch in Round Rock, TX
March 17, 2013 - Round Rock provides city residents free mulch to pick up. It is all cedar apparently. I am turning my now dead, mostly clay, very alkaline and rocky thin soil front lawn into a bigger flower bed of mo...
view the full question and answer

Spreading compost from Kyle TX
January 22, 2012 - I'm trying to find if there is some type of "implement" to help spread compost in my yard that is easier than a shovel and rake. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Native plants for poorly drained clay soil
March 24, 2008 - I am trying to establish a native plant garden in my back yard, I have two places where water stands for a few hours after a heavy rain, and the soil is black clay. Can you recommend any perennials 3...
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