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

Leaves on Spanish oaks in Hays County TX dying
April 18, 2009 - I have many Spanish Oaks on my Hays County property. The leaves started blooming last week, but this week all the young leaves are brown and appear to be dying. This is happening to all the otherwise ...
view the full question and answer

Sticky sap (honeydew) on car
July 10, 2012 - MY CAR IS CONSTANTLY COVERED WITH STICKY SAP. I LIVE IN AN AREA WITH MANY COCONUT PALMS AND OTHER TREES. COULD THE SAP BLOW AROUND EVEN THOUGH I KEEP CHANGING THE PARKING?
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in tulip tree in Cincinnati
October 02, 2009 - I planted a tulip tree sapling (3 feet tall at the time of planting) in May of this year and it sprouted! Unfortunately, I believe the top portion (nearly 2 feet) did not make it (the sapling only spr...
view the full question and answer

Planting spot for sycamore in Belle Mead NJ
April 19, 2010 - At school we all got a tree. It was a Buttonwood tree, which I know is REALLY big, but my grandma wants to plant it near other trees. Where should I put it? My dad won't let me plant it in the middle...
view the full question and answer

Native landscaping plants for Sherman, Texas
December 19, 2007 - We are starting from scratch on landscaping our new yard. We live in Sherman, TX and I would like to use plants and flowers that are native to Texas and have a good chance of surviving. What are you...
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