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


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

Identity of tree in South Carolina
August 18, 2015 - I don't know if this is native as I'm new to South Carolina. This is a tree about 40' tall. The leaves are trilobal, 10" to a foot across/long and are trilobal, not glossy and have big veins. T...
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

My newly planted Mountain Laurel isn\'t doing well.
March 13, 2009 - My mountain laurel was planted from a container in Dec. It is in part sun, clay soil, and its leaves are turning yellow. should I move it or will that kill it?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Privacy Hedge for Long Island
June 29, 2012 - I live on Long Island and want a privacy evergreen hedge partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Plant identification of fern-like tree in Tennessee/North Carolina
June 17, 2011 - Was on my way to Hilton Head and noticed near the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, there was a tree standing about 4 feet tall. Thin straight trunk and at the very top was fern looking foliage...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center