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

Saturday - November 03, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Replacements for Ashe Junipers in Georgetown, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have cut down several cedar trees on our property in Williamson County Texas. We would like to replace the cedar trees with another variety of tree. Do you have recommendations for what type of tree might work best? I have heard that the soil beneath a cedar tree, even one that has been cut, is not appropriate for planting anything.

ANSWER:

The so-called cedar tree in Central Texas is actually not Thuja plicata (Western red cedar) nor Thuja occidentalis (Northern white cedar), neither of which is native to Texas, but most likely Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) which is native to Williamson County. All members of the same family, Cupressaceae; it is just more a question of where they are native.

In terms of soil beneath a "cedar" tree being inhospitable to other plants, have you not ever heard of Salvia roemeriana (Cedar sage)? In fact, if you follow this plant link Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) to our webpage on that plant, you will find this paragraph:

"The uniquely rich and well-draining soil that builds up as juniper leaves fall and decompose is ideal for several native plants, some of which tend to occur almost exclusively in association with it, including Cedar Sage (Salvia roemeriana) and Cedar Rosette Grass (Dichanthelium pedicillatum). The beautiful but notoriously difficult to propagate Texas Madrone (Arbutus xalapensis) also seems to germinate best in the soil beneath these trees. Other central Texas plants often seen under or near it are American Smoke Tree (Cotinus obovatus), White Limestone Honeysuckle (Lonicera albiflora), Lindheimers Garrya (Garrya ovata var. lindheimeri), and Orange Zexmenia (Wedelia texana)."

However, what you have requested is a replacement variety of trees. We will go to our Recommended Species for the Edwards Plateau and, using the list of characteristics on the right hand side of the page, look for Tree under Habit and Narrow Your Search. You can use the same technique to look for Herb (herbaceous blooming plants), Shrub, Grasses, etc. You can also select on sunlight available, soil moisture, even desired height on each habit. Since you are replacing trees, we will give you a list of suggested trees from this list; all are native in or around Williamson County:

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Leucaena retusa (Goldenball leadtree)

 

From the Image Gallery


Arborvitae
Thuja occidentalis

Ashe juniper
Juniperus ashei

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Cedar sage
Salvia roemeriana

Texas madrone
Arbutus xalapensis

American smoke tree
Cotinus obovatus

Western white honeysuckle
Lonicera albiflora

Zexmenia
Wedelia texana

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Goldenball leadtree
Leucaena retusa

More Trees Questions

Cold hardiness of native Wild Olive in Austin
October 11, 2008 - I am considering purchasing a Mexican/Texas Olive (Cordia boissieri) at the upcoming Wildflower Center plant sale to put in my yard in east Austin. I know this tree naturally occurring range extends ...
view the full question and answer

Need trees & shrubs for a 2.5x45 ft. planter box in Chatsworth. CA.
August 07, 2012 - We recently built a pool in our backyard and need to redo all the landscaping. We have a planter that is 45 feet long and about 2.5 feet wide. We'd like to put some trees in this planter that are n...
view the full question and answer

Desert willow for Florida?
March 10, 2011 - I, too, am interested in the desert willow tree. I reside in central Florida, 32162. However, Mountain States Nursery does not ship east of Texas. May I have a listing of other nurseries also. T...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on new water oak turning brown from Matagorda TX
May 30, 2013 - We had water oaks planted in January when they had no leaves. Leaves came on but are now turning brown.
view the full question and answer

Tree protection during construction
February 18, 2008 - What measures can/should be taken to ensure the health, future of live oaks while building a new home? There are many small to medium oaks on this property, some very close to the house site and the o...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center