Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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 - November 08, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native evergreen to replace non-native chinaberry
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for a native evergreen tree to replace a fruitless Chinaberry that was 35 years old. We have clay soil for about 3 feet and then you hit rock. Suggestions would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Here are several small to medium evergreen trees that grow well in Austin's soils and climate:

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) has beautiful purple flowers in the spring and usually grows to 10 or 15 feet.

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) grows moderately fast and reaches a height of 15 to 30 feet.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) produces red berries (on the female trees) for wildlife and grows 10 to 25 feet high.

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) usually grows to 30  or 40 feet, but can grow higher.

Ehretia anacua (Anacua) grows 20-45 feet high.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Cherry laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Anacua
Ehretia anacua

More Trees Questions

Rain garden for Washington MO
March 08, 2013 - I have a 40' tall bald cypress at the bottom right corner of my sloped yard (slopes from 2 sides, has 3 gutter runoffs directed towards it from 50-70' away). Can I put a series of retaining walls up...
view the full question and answer

Alternatives to tuliptree and red maple in Central Texas
August 03, 2007 - I live in southwest Austin, TX, nearby a creek. The soil is very heavy with clay. I've been perusing web sites for trees, and we like the "Summer Red Maple" and "Tulip Poplar" trees very much, m...
view the full question and answer

Is Magnolia virginiana (Sweetbay) a major nectar source for honeybees?
January 31, 2015 - Is the Sweetbay Magnolia a major nectar source for honeybees?
view the full question and answer

No acorns on mature live oak in Little Rock AR
April 18, 2010 - Why does my very large mature live oak have no acorns?
view the full question and answer

Native Perennials for Bees and Butterflies in VA
April 15, 2015 - What native perennial plants and trees can we plant to help honey bees and butterfly larvae in Harrisonburg, VA?
view the full question and answer

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