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

Tuesday - March 19, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Erosion Control, Shade Tolerant
Title: How to stabilize a slope under Red Oaks?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

A portion our front "yard" (20x40 feet) is a limestone hillside shaded by 3 large spanish oaks. The small amount of grass holding onto the hillside is now gone from the drought, and the hill has eroded down to rock and roots. My questions are: 1. How to stabilize the slope without damaging the tree roots; eg, if terrace, how deep can topsoil be added; use of rock versus soil/mulch; mesh or other means to keep the soil in place. 2. Once the hillside is stablilized, what drought resistant grass or plants can tolerate full shade and require little maintenance. Thank you for any help!

ANSWER:

With more than 8000 questions and answers (as of March 20, 2013) published in Ask Mr. Smarty Plants, many questions have been answered already.  A particularly good answer to a recent question covers most of your issues regarding shade-tolerant ground-covers.

Terracing is an effective way to reintroduce soil to an eroded slope.  The amount of soil you can add will depend on what you wish to keep growing there.  In general, you should add no more than one inch of soil around the trunk of trees or shrubs.  However away from the trunk and especially down hill from a tree, the soil can be deeper.  Terraces on steep slopes usually require construction of retaining walls using rocks, masonry or timbers.

For complex projects, we recommend hiring a licensed landscape architect or a certified landscape professional.

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

North-central Texas shrubs for part-shade
March 30, 2011 - I need a shrub that will be OK in shade (2-3 hrs a day max.), in fairly well-drained soil, will grow to around 8 ft. tall and 4-6 wide, for the region between Denton and Gainesville. If it flowers, al...
view the full question and answer

Native shrubs or ground cover for north-facing landscape in Ft. Worth
March 23, 2010 - Need native plant ideas for a landscaping bed against the house facing north. Already has 1 Beautyberry but two others died of root rot last year due to incredibly high water table in our area. Old ...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant vines for Mobile AL
May 07, 2013 - I am looking for an evergreen vine that will thrive in the shade in hot and humid south Alabama. I plan to plant on a trellis. A flowering vine would be even better.
view the full question and answer

Wax myrtle in partial shade in Dothan AL
March 13, 2009 - Will the Wax Myrtle do well in the 36303 area code in partial shade?
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for El Paso, Texas
May 18, 2010 - hi there, I am looking to plant a shade tree in front of my house, about 10ft away from my house and about 6ft away from the sidewalk. I live in El Paso TX and I am afraid that the tree roots will int...
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