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

Saturday - October 27, 2012

From: Oklahoma City, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need suggestion for a tree with a tap root in Oklahoma City, OK.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I would like to know the best tree to plant in my area that does well. Would like a tap root tree and also a tree that will not mess with my septic lines. Thank you

ANSWER:

Lets start by going to our Native Plant Database . Scroll down to our Recommend Species Lists and click on View Recommend Species page. Click on Oklahoma on the map, and you will get a list of 124 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Oklahoma. This is too many for now, so go to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the screen and select Oklahoma under State, tree under Habit, and perennial under Duration. Check sun under Light requirement and dry under Soil moisture. Click on the Narrow your Search button, and you will get a  list of 6 native trees for Oklahoma landscapes. Clicking  on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, its growth characteristics and requirements, and in most cases images. As you check out each plant, you can note its size and other features.

I found this link for a tree give away in Oklahoma City in November that you might want to check out  Hopefully it s not too late. Toward the bottom of the site, click on "Putting Down Roots” which will bring up a guide for tree selection and planting, that also has tree recommendations.

We are frequently asked for trees with taproots under the mistaken impression that the roots will only go down. While there are trees that have taproots, they also develop spreading roots in order to get moisture and nutrients nearer the soil surface. Tree roots grow toward water sources, and septic lines provide  water.  This link has some good advice concerning trees and septic systems .

 

More Planting Questions

Need suggestions for a replacement tree for Hackberry tree in Austin, TX in Austin TX.
May 25, 2013 - We have a large hackberry tree in our front yard. We are cutting it down this fall. I would like to replace it with a tree native to this area..preferably something fast growing. What are your reco...
view the full question and answer

Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX
October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you! I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti...
view the full question and answer

Planting Flame Acanthus in Texas
August 06, 2015 - I recently purchased three flame acanthus in 1 qt. pots. I had planned to hold these in a shaded spot for planting once it cools off, but the plants are 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall. Should I cut them back, pl...
view the full question and answer

Moving Century plants in Norwalk CA
September 15, 2009 - I have two large Century plants that are each 10 1/2 years old. One is 4'x5' tall and wide with about 8-10 small shoots. The smaller in about 3 1/2'x 5' with about 6 shoots. They've grown too l...
view the full question and answer

Planting of Habiturf from Smithville TX
March 25, 2012 - Are Habiturf and Thunderturf the same? and, how late in the year can I plant Habiturf?
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