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 - April 24, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, yes, the Paulownia tomentosa (Princess Tree) will grow in San Marcos. I'm sure you can find them for sale very easily, but we aren't going to help you with that. If you plant one, we predict that in two years you will be writing to ask us how to get rid of it-or your neighbors will. This plant originated from China, and has been in the United States since about the 1840's. It gets into disturbed areas, like recent burn areas or construction areas, can't be killed and begins to proliferate itself with abandon. It moves into established native forests and begins to crowd out the desirable trees. There are groups, including the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, who are tracking and reporting this very undesirable plant. Please read this article from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED.

What else can we say to discourage you from planting this tree? Please don't.

 

More Trees Questions

Spraying paint on White Pine tree trunks
October 31, 2011 - Is there a paint that is safe to spray on a tree trunk without damaging/killing the tree? We have White Pines that have ~16" spacing without limbs & would like to 'camouflage' the bare space. If pa...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel and Desert Willow in pots or ground in Brady, TX
May 09, 2006 - I would really appreciate your advice if a Texas Mountain Laurel (now a 1 gal. size) and a Desert Willow (now a 3 gal.) are good candidates for planting in containers and, if so, what size for each? ...
view the full question and answer

Tree for sound block near Houston
April 24, 2010 - I live in Pearland, just south of Houston and am looking for a tree that I can plant along my fenceline between my neighbor and me that will block noise. We have a pool and entertain a lot, but they a...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
view the full question and answer

How fast do trees grow?
September 03, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants I would like to know how to tell how much a tree will grow if the average of the trees are growing at the rate of approximately 3 to 3.5% annually. And how do they come up wi...
view the full question and answer

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