En Español

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?


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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 03, 2011

From: Dallas, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Identification of pines on I35 between Dallas and Denton
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I frequently drive I-35E from Dallas up to Denton and I've often wondered if the pine trees that I see near the road and in the surrounding areas, especially between Lewisville and Denton, have been planted or are a native population. Traveling past them at 60MPH, they all appear to be the same species and randomly spaced so I doubt that they have been planted. If they are a native species, could you tell me which one? Thanks!


I can't be absolutely sure since I haven't seen them, but I feel pretty certain the pines are Pinus elliottii (Slash pine).  In Shinners and Mahler's Illusrated Flora of North Central Texas, on page 206-207, this is what they say about P. elliottii:

"Cultivated and used in reforestation; spreading from cultivation on sandy soils in Hood Co. in West Cross Timbers, also spreading on sandy soils in Denton and Tarrant cos. (R. O'Kennon, per. obs.); mainly se and e TX; native as far w as Louisiana."

It is the only pine shown occurring in Denton, Tarrant and Hood counties in Billie L. Turner's et al. Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas, vol. 2.

You might try contacting someone in one of the nearby chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) to confirm this (e.g., Trinity Forks Chapter in Denton, Dallas Chapter).

Pinus elliottii

Pinus elliottii



More Trees Questions

Can Live Oak suckers be mowed during Oak Wilt spread season in Austin?
April 12, 2010 - I live in South Austin, not too far from the Wildflower Center. I have a Live Oak in my yard with a substantial amount of sucker growth from the roots. Can I mow them freely throughout the year, or ...
view the full question and answer

Native species of tree for Rockwall TX
March 19, 2014 - Hello, I am attempting to plant a native species of tree 20 miles east of Dallas, Texas (Rockwall, TX) in honor of my brother's marriage. He is a biologist and a huge supporter of native species....
view the full question and answer

Is bald cypress native to Dallas area?
September 19, 2009 - There are 2 very large bald cypress trees growing beside one another at a park in North Dallas, and I was wondering if they were native or planted a long time ago by the settlers or something. They ar...
view the full question and answer

Control of borers attacking Prunus serotina
August 30, 2006 - Where can I find information to control borers that seem to attack only Prunus serotina v. exemia?
view the full question and answer

Names of native plants in Garland, Texas
October 31, 2008 - We are building a new Assisted Living & Memory Care community in Garland Texas. We typically name the different floor plans after trees, plants or flowers indigenous or native to the area. Can you pr...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.


Atlas of the Vascular Plants of Texas (2003) Turner, B. L.; H. Nichols; G. Denny; O. Doron

Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F. Mahler; L. H. Shinners

Search More Titles in Bibliography

© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center