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?


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

Friday - August 11, 2006

From: Providence Village, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Selecting landscape trees for Denton Co., TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus


I live in Denton County and I'm trying to select a few trees to plant in my yard. I'd like them to be native or at least "antique" (hardy varieties which have adapted to the conditions without becoming invasive). I cannot plant fruit-bearing trees, and I prefer to avoid mimosas and cottonwoods. I'd prefer more tallish than shrubbish.


Without knowing a lot more about your yard and what you want your trees to do for you it is very difficult to give you useful recommendations. However, The Texas Forest Service has recently introduced an excellent new web tool to help you select the best trees for your needs. It also gives great information on siting and planting of trees and has the added benefit of being very easy to use. Here is a link to their Texas Tree Selector.

More Trees Questions

Fast-growing "climbing" tree.
February 12, 2009 - I live in Northern Virginia. My children would love for me to plant a "climbing" tree - short trunk, nice spread of limbs. Can you recommend a tree that could grow to meet this requirement in abou...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing non-invasive flowering tree from Carlsbad CA
April 17, 2013 - Looking for fast growing flowering tree with non-invasive roots.
view the full question and answer

Baby mountain laurels are ready to move, in Lockhart Texas
October 19, 2011 - I want to harvest the baby mountain laurel plants which are growing under a large bush. What height would be best for the young plants survival? Please recommend a soil mixture for the pots.
view the full question and answer

Life expectancy for Ulmus crassifolia
June 21, 2007 - What is the life expectancy for a cedar elm? We live in Austin, and the tree was likely here before the house, which was built in 1939.
view the full question and answer

Looking for Sideroxylon celastrinum (Coma saffron plum) seeds or seedlings
February 12, 2015 - Hi. I'm trying to find a good commercial source for la coma (Bumelia celastrina) seedlings/seeds. Can you help? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center