Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
1 rating

Thursday - September 20, 2012

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Heat tolerant arborvitae for Spring TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Is there an arborvitae that would be heat-tolerant to Spring, Texas (north of Houston) and amenable to neutral clay soil?

ANSWER:

There are two members of the genus Thuja (arborvitae) native to the Northeast and Northwest U. S.,  Alaska and Canada: Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) and Thuja plicata (Western arborvitae). If you follow the plant links to our webpages on these plants, you will see that both need cool temperatures and moist soil.  See the USDA Plant Profile Map on Thuja occidentalis as well as the map on Thuja plicata. You will note that Texas shows up on neither map, and we discovered that only 3 counties in far northwest California are included.

Spring TX, is in Harris County, and is in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 10. These arborvitae are considered hardy in Zones 5-8; however, on our webpage for Thuja occidentalis (Arborvitae) this sentence, "The species tolerates air pollution and heat as long as it is rooted in cool, moist soil." gives some hope that it might, just might be possible. We have no doubt that large commercial nurseries and home improvement stores will have one or both of these trees for sale, so if you're game, there is no reason why you shouldn't try it. We know that these trees make beautiful hedges but if they can't survive in your environment, they are just compost.  If you go to the webpage on either plant, scroll down to "Additional Resources" at the bottom of the page and follow the Google link to more information. This is your decision.

 

More Trees Questions

Problems with Texas Mountain Laurel in Dallas
May 04, 2010 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel that is about 3 years old. When I bought it 2 summers ago, it was about a foot high. Now it is over 6 feet. It seems to have grown so fast that the branches can't ke...
view the full question and answer

Bugs on Arizona Cypress in Bellwood IL
August 27, 2011 - I live in Illinois and have an Arizona Cypress that looks like it is dying but I notice today it has bugs inside its cone. Can you tell me why and what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Need a tree that grows only 15 feet tall in Hopewell, VA.
May 26, 2010 - We would like to landscape an area of our yard with a tree that grows no higher than 15 feet. This location receives full sun most of the day and we would prefer a drought tolerant species or one tha...
view the full question and answer

Non-native peanutbutter tree suckering in Oregon City OR
August 02, 2011 - I have a beautiful 'peanutbutter tree' in my yard. I have noted that there are plantlets coming up that appear to be attached to the main root(s) of the tree. I have been breaking them off as I don...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.