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 acapulcensis var. hispida

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Goldenball leadtree
Leucaena retusa

More Trees Questions

Gardening advice for Quebec
April 15, 2011 - I live in Aylmer Quebec 1. I bought some lily bulbs at a Christmas bazaar. When can I plant them and what do I put in the hole with the bulbs? 2. I bought a little potted cedar at COSTCO for a Ch...
view the full question and answer

Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
May 11, 2013 - I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its...
view the full question and answer

Further explanation of retaining walls and trees from Washington MO
March 11, 2013 - I had a question previously about putting retaining walls across the root system of a 40' tall bald cypress tree(not like spokes on a wheel, but concentric to tree trunk). How wide can the walls be? ...
view the full question and answer

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen oak in Washington
February 17, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Pacific Northwest and noticed an oak tree growing near the road that was evergreen (unusual for here). I was so curious that that last time that I passed the tree,...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center