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

Monday - November 27, 2006

From: Hutto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Alternatives for non-native Bradford Pear
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, can you please give me some information about the "bradford flowering pear"? I live in Hutto,Tx. I want to know if this is a good tree to plant. What are the benefits of choosing this tree and is it easy to take care? How do I take care of it? Can you also give me information about what fruit trees I can grow as well. Thanks.

ANSWER:

The Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana) is a native of China. Our mission statement reads: "The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes." Since our focus and expertise is with plants native to North America, we don't recommend planting non-natives. We can recommend several attractive alternatives, however, that are native to Central Texas:

Mexican or Bigtree Plum (Prunus mexicana) produces beautiful showy white flowers in the spring and has the added advantage of producing plums that can be eaten or made into jam or jelly.

The hawthorns, such as Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis) or Cockspur Thorn (Crataegus crus-galli), also have profuse white flowers in the spring.

Texas Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis) has magenta flowers in the spring and produces reddish seed pods that remain on the tree after the leaves have fallen.

Desert Willow (Chilopsis linearis) has large pink flowers in the spring and grows quickly.

You can find more trees using your own criteria for size, flowers, fruit, etc., by searching in the Texas Tree Planting Guide from Texas A&M and the Texas Forest Service.

The Williamson County Extension Office of Texas Cooperative Extension Service has recommendations for fruit and nut tree varieties that do well in Williamson County.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

How to grow a non-native rue plant in Duncanville TX
March 15, 2010 - Can I grow a Rue plant from a clipping? If so, what do I need to do? Please explain step by step. I'm new to all of this. Thanks
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native Senna bicapsularis from Ocean Springs MS
April 04, 2013 - I have 4 Senna plants (cassia bicapsularis) that I planted late last spring. They about 3-4 feet tall but are very gangly with leaves at or near the tips only. How should I prune them to encourage g...
view the full question and answer

Comment on previous answer from Austin
October 15, 2013 - Ms Bradford, You just answered my question about St. Augustine grass.. actually, you didn't answer it.. You said "sorry, wrong number". Very funny. I think you misunderstood... I would rather no...
view the full question and answer

Pruning of non-native oxblood lilies from Austin
March 27, 2014 - My Oxblood Lilies flowered quite late last Fall. Their foliage is still very green. Can I cut it down now or do I have to wait until it goes brown?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen hedge for constant rain
June 24, 2008 - We live in Washington State up north by Canadian border. We need a hedge that will survive the constant rain. We have tried cedar. They seem to turn brown and die,one at a time so we keep replacing th...
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