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?

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 - 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


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 walking stick
Aralia spinosa

More Trees Questions

Re-landscaping neglected garden in Franklin CT
April 03, 2011 - I am starting from scratch in a yard that has no planting beds or, for that matter, plants at all. House was vacant for quite some time, grass was three feet tall when we moved in. I would like to p...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of pecan trees in Las Vegas NV
October 11, 2009 - In April this year I purchased two 8-foot tall pecan trees in 3-foot square boxes from a local nursery and planted them here in Southern Nevada. I'm sure I dug a large enough hole to provide plenty ...
view the full question and answer

Deciduous shade tree for Inland California dry hills
July 26, 2011 - What type of tree would work well in our back yard? We're looking for a deciduous tree that doesn't grow too tall, maybe 20'. We'd like it to have spreading branches to provide shade during the su...
view the full question and answer

Blackening of top growth of yaupon in Sunrise Beach TX
June 09, 2010 - My question regards a Will Flemming yaupon which I am thinking may be within your scope of expertise. These were recently planted under windy conditions, then hit with a neighbors antiquated jet type ...
view the full question and answer

Control of Paulownia tomentosa from Westminster MD
October 28, 2011 - I have heard that there is a type of herbicide that is to be applied to slashes made in the outer layer of invasive trees such as Paulownia. This type of application is reputed to prevent the little ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center