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

Tuesday - April 26, 2011

From: Randolph, NJ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Would like suggestions for a tree or bush to be given as a memorial gift for friends in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, I would like to give a memorial gift of a tree and/or bush native to the Austin area to friends living there. Any suggestions? Local vendors would be appreciated also. Thanks very much!

ANSWER:

A tree or shrub is a very thoughtful memorial that can be appreciated for years to come. Since we don't have information about the location where the tree will be planted ie.  soil type, sun or shade, moisture, etc.. I will give you some resources to use for selecting a tree/shrub.

The first is the Texas Tree Planting Guide  presented by the Texas Forest Service.  It features the Tree Selector which is fun to use and helps you match a tree for a particular location. One piece of information that you need to know to use it is that Austin is in Travis County. 

The next resource is our Recommended Species Lists. Clicking on Central Texas on the map will bring up a list of 156 Commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. You can reduce this list by going to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the page and make these selections; select Texas under state, Tree under General Appearance, and Perennial under Lifespan. Check Sun under Light requirement, and Moist under Soil Moisture. Click the Narrow your Search button, and your list shrinks to 12.  You can get different lists by changing your selection criteria. Repeating the process and selecting Shrub under General Appearance instead of Tree will give you a list of 8 species of shrubs for use in Central Texas. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has a description of the plant, its growth requirements, and photos.

Some trees that Mr. Smarty Plants likes;

Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak)    One of our beautiful oaks, but a relativly slow grower.

Quercus muehlenbergii (Chinkapin oak)  Another oak with a moderate growth rate.

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash)  Texas ash is a fast growing small tree, 30-45 ft. tall.  Pinnate leaves have brilliant fall color.

Carya illinoinensis (Pecan)   The state tree of Texas.

Some shrubs that Mr. Smarty Plants likes;

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)  Yaupon is a picturesque, upright, evergreen,  shrub or small tree, growing 12-45 ft high. Female plants produce prodigious amounts of bright red, persistent berries.

Ilex decidua (Possumhaw)  A small deciduous tree or shrub with an interesting name. Very conspicuous in the winter because of the numerous red berries on its bare stems.

Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle)  A popular evergreen ornamental plant with foliage that has a spicy fragrance. Can be trimed to form a hedge.

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)  Can grow as a small tree or large shrub. It's a favorite in Austin because of its showy purple flowers.


Consult our Suppliers Directory for help locating the plant(s) of your choice.

Some images from our Photo Gallery.


Quercus macrocarpa


Quercus muehlenbergii


Quercus muehlenbergii


Fraxinus texensis


Carya illinoinensis


Ilex vomitoria


Ilex decidua


Morella cerifera


Sophora secundiflora

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Hurricane resistant alternatives to crape myrtle
September 02, 2007 - Are there any native small to medium trees (15-25 ft) to use instead of crapemyrtles (Lagerstroemia indica)? Crapemyrtles come in many colors and bend with hurricane winds instead of snapping or uproo...
view the full question and answer

Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant Ash)
May 30, 2008 - Two part question: 1) Will fragrant (flowering; Fraxinus cuspidata) ash survive in Zone 7b? 2) Where can I get it?
view the full question and answer

Failure of smoke tree to bloom in Alburtis PA
September 07, 2009 - For whatever reason, my smoke tree did not bloom during its second season. Any ideas?
view the full question and answer

Planting ornamental cherries in GA
February 18, 2011 - What is the correct way to plant ornamental cherry trees in N. Georgia Mountain clay soil? Which is the hardiest variety?
view the full question and answer

Wilting of Mountain Ash in Wisconsin
August 21, 2008 - What type of disease would cause a Mountain Ash to entirely wilt? The bark on bottom of tree is opening up and is spongy feeling. No sign of any disease until last month and it quickly wilted with b...
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