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
2 ratings

Thursday - June 15, 2006

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast growing native trees for Austin
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

What are your suggestions for a fast growing native tree that will do well in the clay soils of North Central Austin? I just had a 30 foot hackberry tree fall and would like to restore some shade to my backyard. I am not able to dig a very large hole to plant the tree, so would like to find a tree that either grows fast or has a smaller root ball so I can plant it. Would also like one that provides good shade without killing St. Augustine grass under the canopy.

ANSWER:

Four relatively fast-growing, clay-adapted trees native to your area are:

Texas Ash (Fraxinus albicans)
Escarpment Live Oak (Quercus fusiformis)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia)

Of these, the ash was mentioned most often as being relatively fast-growing in the books I looked at. The oaks would cast denser shade than the others, but I've seen St. Augustine growing right up to the trunks of live oaks so that might not be a problem. All should be available at local nurseries.

 

More Trees Questions

Wound to ash tree in Connecticut
January 29, 2009 - My parents live in CT and there is a ravine on the side of their property with a beautiful ash tree on the bank. A week or two ago a drunk driver crashed their car into the ash. Now the tree has a l...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen thorny bush for California
May 01, 2010 - I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "tag...
view the full question and answer

Live Oak Suckers or ??? in Arlington, TX
September 12, 2014 - Do I have live oak suckers or an invasive plant? We bought a house a few years ago in Arlington, TX with two beautiful old live oak trees, and mostly just bare sand-dirt under them. Under one t...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to my Norfolk Island Pine in Houston, TX
March 18, 2010 - Houston, Texas experienced a rare 3-day snow event this winter that allowed snow to stay on my 20 ft. Norfolk Pine, in the ground for over 10 yrs. Every branch is now brown with all dead foliage. I ha...
view the full question and answer

Shallow topsoil on rocky substrate in SW Oregon
April 28, 2009 - I want to plants some shrubs and trees. Trouble is I can't plant very deep. I have mostly rock within 5 inches. Please help.
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