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

Monday - July 16, 2012

From: Fredericksburg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need a shade tree for front yard in Fredricksburg, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Fredericksburg, Tx. I have a large front yard, but only one huge pecan tree in the front yard that is probably 18 years old. It shades half the yard. I want to plant another shade tree for the other half of my yard.a tree that does not produce fruit, is heat tollerant and spreads out wide for shade. Is this what they refer to as mushroom crown tree? What do you suggest I plant? Watering the tree is not a problem.

ANSWER:

Producing fruit is what most trees do, unless of course  you have a staminate (male) tree of a dioecious species. Otherwise, you need to select a tree with small, un-obnoxious fruit.

This article from the US Forest Service talks about the shapes of trees (scroll down to “Characteristic Shapes of Trees” about 3/4 of the way to the end). Your new tree could have a mushroom shaped crown, but that will be influenced by its interaction with the pecan tree.

For tree selection, I’m going to recommend the Texas Tree Planting Guide. This is an interactive web site from the Texas Forest Service that helps you pick trees based on your location, size of tree you want, and growing conditions. The simplest path is to use the “Express Tree Selector”. Answer the two questions , click on “view the best trees to plant” and you will get four reasonable choices. Check on the sizes and growth requirements to see which tree is best for you. By changing your search parameters, or using the "Custom Tree Selector", you can get other recommendations.

Here is a link to a previous answer that can also prove helpful.

 

More Planting Questions

When to Plant Texas Wisteria?
December 09, 2015 - When is the best time to plant Texas Wisteria, Fall or Spring?
view the full question and answer

Will Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri thrive in caliche soil?
December 02, 2014 - I live on a high hill in the Hamilton Pool area outside of Austin. I am looking to plant a Dasylirion wheeleri that I grew from seed collected in New Mexico aria East Of Soccoro. I am wondering if the...
view the full question and answer

Arctostaphylos Hanging Basket for Texas
April 24, 2015 - I would like to plant an Arctostaphylos uva-ursi in a hanging basket with a coco liner. Will this work, or will the roots grow too long? it's the 'Massachusetts' cultivar.
view the full question and answer

Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
October 05, 2013 - We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?
view the full question and answer

Damaged newly planted Gaura in Austin
April 16, 2010 - Hello yet again! This past Friday we attended the plant sale where we got lots of goodies to start a new bed. The plants were all planted on Sunday. All of them are doing fine, even beginning to...
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