En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Planting a non-native rose on oak tree in Hutto TX

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

Thursday - April 07, 2011

From: Hutto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Planting a non-native rose on oak tree in Hutto TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I would like to consider planting an earth-kind climbing rose on the south side of my 12 ft oak tree. Is this a good idea? Will I create problems?

ANSWER:

We are not sure what you mean by an "earth-kind" rose. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center recommends only plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants grow natively. We need to point out that there is no such thing as a true "climbing" rose, in the terms of an ivy or honeysuckle that either has stick-tights or winding tendrils to help the vines grow. Rose have stiff canes, and to make them go up, they need to be tied to some sort of trellis or support. We don't know how this would work trying to take it up an oak tree. In the winter, roses being deciduous, you would just have long bare canes tied to a tree with no leaves, kind of pitiful.

Most roses need a good quantity of sunlight to fuel their blooms. We consider full sun to be 6 or more hours of sun a day, part shade 2 to 6 hours of sun, and shade less than 2 hours of sun a day.There are other factors besides heavy shade that might be causing problems in getting plants to stay alive, including the fact that oak roots tend to be in the upper 12 inches of the soil, and form a mat that would be discouraging to other plant roots. In addition, there is the question of allelopathy. From the University of California Cooperative Extension article Landscape Notes by James Downer, Farm Advisor, we have extracted this paragraph about the allelopathy of oaks:

"Various studies have demonstrated that oaks can have allelopathic affects on surrounding plants. Allelopathy is the production of plant inhibiting chemicals by one plant to regulate the growth of others in its vicinity. One important group of chemicals produced by oaks is tannins. They are produced in leaves and litter and also directly by root systems in soil. Tannins are inhibitory to many organisms. Salicylic acid and other organic acids are also produced by oaks and are toxic to other plants. Allelopathy is species specific for the oak in question and the species that is inhibited."

So, you get our drift-not many roses are native to North America, most are from China. The oak is not going to like having that rose under it, and the rose is not going to like having the shade of the oak. However, we will give you some roses native to Texas to look at; there is nothing to keep you from trying it if you want to. There are 9 members of the Rosa genus native to Texas, but only 2 seem to have the possibility of surviving in Williamson County. These are going to be "wild" roses, and it's unlikely you will find them in a nursery.

Rosa carolina (Carolina rose) - low, freely suckering rose, 1 to 3 ft. tall

Rosa setigera (Climbing prairie rose) - has canes 6 to 15 ft. long, which classify it as a climbing rose; it is mostly found growing on fences in East Texas.

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Rosa carolina


Rosa setigera

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Replacing St. Augustine with native grass in Austin
February 24, 2012 - We are renting a house our Sister-in-law owns- the St Augustine is in tough shape, drought and lack of care over the years. Could we plant a native grass or do we have to pull up the remaining St. Aug...
view the full question and answer

Plant Care for Plumeria
October 15, 2005 - I have a plumeria that is getting too tall for my small patio. How I should cut it back and can start the cuttings into new plants? Does the original plant need any special care when it is cut back?
view the full question and answer

Mealybugs on non-native Lady Palm in Houston
November 30, 2009 - Rather than dabbing rubbing alcohol on the leaves of an indoor lady palm infested with mealybugs,since the infestation is widespread, would spraying the palm with the rubbing alcohol be effective?
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native Indian hawthorns in Lott TX
July 05, 2009 - My Indian Hawthornes have developed brown leaves. I planted them about four years ago and until now they have done very well. I bought some 3 in 1 garden spray for fungus, but I don't know if that ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of insects on crepe myrtle in Florida
May 22, 2013 - I have large colonies of striped bugs on large crepe myrtle in my backyard. They stay in large groups and have long antennae. There are larger black bugs among the groups that appear to corral and g...
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