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
1 rating

Tuesday - April 05, 2011

From: San Augustine, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Edible Plants, Trees
Title: Looking for fruit and nut trees to plant in San Augustine, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I am setting up residence in San Augustine, Texas on approximately 9 acres of land. We wanted to plant a few of each type of fruit and nut trees that would prosper in the area (for wildlife and for our own consumption). Could you provide a list or a site that details what type and best places to plant these trees? Our soil is sandy and has a great deal of red clay. Would also be interested in a list of the best crops for the area. Thinking about piping water over from a spring for drip irrigation.

ANSWER:

I would like to preface my answer by stating that the mission  of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

In the case of nut trees, we have pecans Carya illinoinensis (Pecan), walnuts  Juglans nigra (Black walnut) , hickory nuts Carya ovata (Shagbark hickory), and lots of oak trees that produce acorns for the critters eg.Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak). Human consumption is limited mostly to pecans..

The term fruit trees usually conjures up the image of apples, pears, peaches, oranges  etc.,  most of which are not native to Texas or the US. Some fruit bearing trees suitable for wildlife include the Hollies [ Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon),Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)], Wax myrtle Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle), and wild plums Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) & Prunus umbellata (Hog plum).  For other possibilities, go to our Native Plant Database and scroll down to the Recommended Species box. Clicking on the map will give you an enlarged version where you can click on East Texas. This will give you a list of 133 commercially available native species suitable for landscapes in East Texas. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which gives the characteristics of the plant, its growth requirements, and pictures. Going to the narrow your seach box will allow you to shorten your list. Select Texas under state, Tree underGeneral Appearance, and Perennial under Lifespan. Check sun for Light Requirement and Moist for Soil Moisture. Click the "Narrow your search" box and your list is reduced to 13 species. This will help you select plants that are suitable for your location.

Your question about the best crops for the area makes me wonder if you  might be more interested in farming that gardening. To that end, I recommend that you get in contact with the folks at the San Agustine County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension.

 

From the Image Gallery


Pecan
Carya illinoinensis

Shagbark hickory
Carya ovata

Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

Wax myrtle
Morella cerifera

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Hog plum
Prunus umbellata

More Trees Questions

Clicking heard under an Oak in near Bandera, TX
May 06, 2014 - Hi, I live on a ranch in TX outside of Bandera. We're covered with live oaks, spanish oak and cedar. Last week,as I stood under an oak, I heard a constant fairly loud clicking sound under and around ...
view the full question and answer

Why doesn't my Possum Haw have berries this year?
May 20, 2010 - A possumhaw holly has no berries as of mid-May. I planted this possumhaw last summer - it had lots of berries. Why would it have no berries this year? This spring I have two yaupons with lots of b...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in desert willow in Austin
November 09, 2011 - We planted a desert willow 5 days ago. It came in a 15-gallon pot but the tree is quite large (~10 ft) with a wide spread. We watered thoroughly during planting but have not watered since (light rai...
view the full question and answer

Privacy Trees for Pleasanton, CA
April 30, 2014 - I was looking for some fast growing trees for my backyard that backs up to Valley Ave in Pleasanton, Ca. The city just cut down 4 Redwoods behind me and there is so much noise from the traffic now Ca...
view the full question and answer

Can a Texas Mountain Laurel be grown in Drake CO
August 22, 2010 - I live in Colorado, in the mountains near Estes Park, and would like to plant the Texas Mountain Laurel. Can they be grown in this environment. I would be willing to grow them in containers so I could...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center