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

Mulching in deep shade in Round Rock TX
June 22, 2010 - Central Texas: Problem is deep shade and high temps. I noted your advice about danger to the tree when planting beneath shade trees, but wonder if there is a substance - perhaps pine needles - that co...
view the full question and answer

Are baldcypress trees (Taxodium distichum) self-fertile
March 06, 2011 - We are considering planting a bald cypress in a grassy children's play area that has fair amount of clay in the soil and receives a good amount of rain water from an adjacent slope. This seems a good...
view the full question and answer

Identification of pines on I35 between Dallas and Denton
May 03, 2011 - I frequently drive I-35E from Dallas up to Denton and I've often wondered if the pine trees that I see near the road and in the surrounding areas, especially between Lewisville and Denton, have been ...
view the full question and answer

Low Water Use Plants for a Pond Island
November 06, 2014 - We have a medium sized pond/tank with a small island covered in black willows. The pond loses a lot of water and we were told it was partially due to the willows. We want to remove them and replace ...
view the full question and answer

Need advice for pruning a young Bur Oak tree in Austin, TX.
November 02, 2010 - I grew a beautiful bur oak from seed, and three years later it is now taller than I am. I hate to cut anything off this tree and hurt it, but there are two branches that are rubbing together and growi...
view the full question and answer

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