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

Sunday - September 18, 2011

From: The Woodlands, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need to find an alternative to Bradford Pear in the Woodlands, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello! I am trying to find an alternative tree to a Bradford Pear. I love the seasonal change in these and ordered one, but after the many negative reviews I've read (smell, weakness in branches, messy fruit, suckers..) we've decided to try to find something similar without the negatives. We are looking for a mid- sized tree for a small front yard to shade our front door. Something fairly fast growing would be great. Fall color and/or flowers in the spring would be a definite plus! We live in The Woodlands, Tx. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we encourage the use of native plants, so I am going to refer you to the Native Plant Society of Texas-Houston Chapter who puts out a Native Plant Guide . They have a program called NICE (Natives instead of Common Exotics), and on page 24 of the Guide, there is an extensive list of alternative plants to replace non-natives in your landscape. You’ll see that there is a category for Small Trees and Large Trees, and alternatives for Bradford Pear are listed in both. To learn more about the plants listed, you can go to our Native Plants Database and type the name of the plant in the search box. If the plant is in our Database, its NPIN page will come up that has information about the plant’s characteristics and growth requirements, as well as images. Page 7 of the Native Plant Guide has a list of nativeplant suppliers in the Houston area.

Another useful tool for selecting a tree is the “Texas Tree Planting Guide” from the Texas Forest Service. This guide is interactive and has tips for selecting, planting, and caring for your new tree. Be aware that some of their selections are non-natives however.

 

More Planting Questions

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

Care of Live Oaks
July 11, 2012 - We have Two Young Live Oaks in the front of Our home. We had them treated for insects, ect. Now what can we do to make them Full Green and Happy Happy Happy again.Thank You
view the full question and answer

Pecan trees too close together in Austin
August 14, 2012 - There are two pecan trees in my central Austin yard. Each is four or five inches diameter at chest height and maybe 15 feet tall. They are within six feet of each other and their canopies interfere wi...
view the full question and answer

White fuzz on pine tree bark in Dartmouth MA
July 13, 2010 - We have white fuzz on our pine tree bark?
view the full question and answer

Annual flowers for fall planting in San Antonio
June 22, 2010 - What are some recommended annual flowers for fall planting in a small garden in San Antonio? Also any help on planting and cultivating would be appreciated.
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