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?

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

Sunday - April 15, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils, Trees
Title: Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area along a seasonal creek, near a pecan grove, in Dripping Springs, Texas. Am I out of luck? Thanks, Paul Clements

ANSWER:

We are pretty particular that everything that we sell at our Native Plant Sale is native to Texas and will grow there. You are correct, our Native Plant Database on Quercus emoryi (Emory oak) did state that it grows only in acid soils. That statement was an error in our database. Thanks to your question, we have corrected the database information.  Some of the facts in this database were entered years ago, and ever so often we find a previously-undetected error.

Emory Oak is not native to central Texas (in Texas, it grows near the Rio Grande) and your success with growing it will depend on local conditions.  However, the location you describe seems to be a very good match for its growing requirements.

From Plants for a Future, we found this quotation:

"The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil."

 

From the Image Gallery


Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

More Soils Questions

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Ornamental grasses under desert willows from Dallas, TX
September 06, 2013 - I am planning on planting 3 desert willows in full sun, below the power lines at the back of my back yard in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas. I would like to plant some ornamental grasses in the be...
view the full question and answer

Difficulty with Clay Soil from Palm Bay, FL
August 22, 2012 - I had a very nice little native shady area behind my house for over 40 years, but now it has been cleared except for a 100 foot tall live oak in the center of this raised mound (50' x 80'). I've be...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow in high zinc, lead and copper soil in Los Angeles
January 24, 2011 - We live on the Westside of Los Angeles and have just been given the bad news that our beds are high in zinc (86.39), lead (45.98) and copper(12.95). Can you recommend some plants that may grow in thes...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center