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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 .

 

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