En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Non-native mango in pool area in Stuart FL

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

Monday - May 23, 2011

From: Stuart, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native mango in pool area in Stuart FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are landscaping a backyard and want to put in a pool. He wants to keep the huge mango tree that overhangs part of the pool area, I don't really care but would like to know what other fast growing shade tree would be recommended for a pool area in Stuart Fl in case we need to take it out. There are already lots of palms so we were are looking for more of a less messy but leafy tree like the mango.

ANSWER:

Mangifera indica, mango tree, is native to Malaysia, India and Burma, and therefore falls out of our expertise. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are devoted to the principles of native gardening, because plants growing where they belong will need less fertilizer, water and pest control. However, in your case, we don't think any tree, native or otherwise, would be appropriate because of interference of the roots with the structure of the pool, as well as the material that would be shed by the tree into the pool.

Roots of trees generally extend at least as far out as the shadow of the canopy of the tree. This area is referred to as the Protected Root Zone (PRZ). It is probable that digging for the pool is going to damage the mango sufficiently that it won't survive anyway.  Additionally, the roots of the tree have the potential to damage/crack any concrete they encounter as they grow trying to reach water and oxygen.

We are frequently asked for "taproot trees," on the assumption that a root that grows straight down will not interfere with concrete walks, driveways, sidewalks and foundations. Alas, some trees do begin with a taproot but there are few trees with a true taproot; as time goes by roots will spread from that center root, both in search of water and nutrients and also as a base to stabilize the tree in the ground. A tree tall enough, and with comparable width to provide shade for your pool area, is going to have roots extending far beyond the initial area, if either the tree or the pool survive the planting there. A tree big enough to cast shade, say, 20 ft. tall, will usually have about the same spread-20' wide. The roots beneath that tree will normally spread out from two to three times farther than the crown.

Our suggestion is to start with the pool, if that is what you decide to do. If it is recommended that the mango come out, or that it will be damaged by the digging, don't consider replacing it with another tree until you see how the pool fits into your space. Once a tree is in the ground, when it begins to conflict with the hardscape, in this case the structure of the pool, then it will probably have to come out again. Save yourself the trouble.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Could ammonia harm poisonous, non-native oleander in Bay Point CA
December 20, 2009 - Could ammonia harm my Oleander plant? I have been spraying ammonia under it to keep neighborhood cats from using the soil under the plant as a sand box. If so, do you have any suggestions as to what...
view the full question and answer

Non-native wedelia and dayflower in Lihue HI
September 03, 2009 - I have wedelia as ground covering, day flower or commelinaceae takes over. What can I use or spray to rid myself of the day flower problem?
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Cirsium arvense in Michigan
September 07, 2008 - I have identified that I have growing abundantly "Canada Thistle";the noxious and invasive. I know this to be true because where it grows nothing else grows; not even the native weeds. I want to get...
view the full question and answer

Planting distance for non-native crepe myrtles in Lawton OK
June 14, 2009 - We just bought Tonto Crepe Myrtle trees. I was just curious how far away from the house we should plant them.
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