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

Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Elmendorf, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Will Fragrant Ash grow in Bowie County TX?
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in south Bexar County in very fine deep sand. Will the Fraxinus cuspidata grow in my soil and temperature?


Fraxinus cuspidata (Fragrant ash) is not shown in this USDA Plant Profile Map as growing natively to Central Texas, but rather to far West Texas. The Growing Conditions for this tree, as listed in our Native Plant Database, are:

"Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Cold Tolerant: yes
Soil Description: Limestone or black clay soils. Limestone-based, Caliche type, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay."

These conditions would seem to be similar to what you have in your area, which is USDA Hardiness Zone 8b. This article on Fragrant Flowering Ash indicates the tree is hardy in Zones 5 to 9; however, the same article says it is difficult to find in commerce. We would definitely not recommend planting it now, but waiting until mid-Winter, when temperatures are cooler and trees are in semi-dormancy. Perhaps someone at the Texas AgriLIFE Extension Office for Bexar County has some experience with the viability of this tree in your area. The picture below was taken in Big Bend National Park. Here are some other pictures from Google.


From the Image Gallery

Fragrant ash
Fraxinus cuspidata

More Trees Questions

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

Planting Live oak trees in Katy, TX.
November 03, 2012 - We are building a house in a neighborhood where the HOA requires two live oaks in the front yard. Our lot is pie shaped leaving a very small front yard once you take into acct the driveway and sidewal...
view the full question and answer

Removing juniper roots from San Francisco
February 13, 2011 - Topic-Juniper Tree Root Removal (agh!) Needs-3 removed yet roots remain, some growing UNDER the cement, driveway and house!!! (under growth = ~3" as far as I can determine, thus far). Question-Do I ...
view the full question and answer

Bugs eating new growth on Mountain Laurel shrubs from Dripping Springs TX
April 02, 2013 - What is eating the new growth on my mountain laurel shrubs? One plant has red bugs and the other has black (could they be love bugs?). Is there something I can do to preserve the new growth?
view the full question and answer

Mexican oak and red oak not looking healthy
August 02, 2014 - I purchased a Mexican oak tree and I believe a red oak tree from your center about 1 year ago. Recently I've noticed that they don't look as healthy as they have been, and I just looked at the leave...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center