En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - May 29, 2012

From: Whitehouse, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Poolside tree for Whitehouse TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What would you recommend for native shade tree or flowering tree on the north side of a swimming pool in East Texas/Smith County? Trying to avoid too much dropping of flowers, nuts, etc. Looking to plant in a row, with height in the 20-40 range and width around 10-20.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants is a bit confused: a flowering tree without much dropping of flowers, fruits & nuts! You don’t really want a plastic tree do you!?!

Getting a bit more serious, I went looking at the trees recommended for your area [We have a special collection for the pineywoods] and used the sort feature to narrow out the trees selected to the ones listed as 12-36 feet tall.

On the clean side of this group are the evergreens.  Good selections for your area include Cyrilla racemiflora (Swamp titi), Ilex opaca (American holly), and Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (Southern red-cedar).  Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is not only evergreen, but was noted for its fruit & berries. So it would fit well into that side of your request also.

There also were several deciduous trees on the recommended list.  These likely have more dropping of flowers & nuts, but may appeal to you.  A partial list includes: Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam), Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf dogwood), Cornus florida (Flowering dogwood) and Crataegus marshallii (Parsley hawthorn).

And finally, my eye is always caught by an interestingly different choice.  Aralia spinosa (Devil's walkingstick) may be a bit messy – but would be visually interesting [it's mentioned as “grotesque ornamental” in the description!]

 

From the Image Gallery


Swamp titi
Cyrilla racemiflora

American holly
Ilex opaca

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

American hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana

Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

Flowering dogwood
Cornus florida

Parsley hawthorn
Crataegus marshallii

Devil's walkingstick
Aralia spinosa

More Trees Questions

Tree resembling live oak, but with thorns
August 04, 2008 - I'm trying to ID a tree in our backyard, most of our trees are Live Oaks and the tree in question has a dark almost black and gray bark that looks just like a Live Oak. The leaves are similar but lig...
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Kempner, Texas
November 29, 2013 - I just moved to Kempner , TX and would like to plant a couple of fruit trees in my 1 1/4 ac yard. I would like to plant a species that will do well and produce edible fruit. Any assistance will be app...
view the full question and answer

Small oak tree with powdery mildew in San Antonio, TX.
May 09, 2012 - I have a small oak tree with powdery mildew. Is there anything I can do about? Will it kill the tree?
view the full question and answer

Will hand pollination of red plum tree result in fruits?
February 24, 2014 - Red Plum is blooming but no bees to pollinate & no associate plum trees near by. Can flowers be pollinated by hand with q-tip?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center