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 - May 11, 2013

From: san antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Selecting a tree for a backyard in San Antonio, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I recently moved into a home in West San Antonio right outside Loop 1604..my treeless backyard is fairly small at about 55 ft long and 15 ft wide. I am torn because I can't go w/something big like a red oak or even cedar elm but I'm sure a lacey oak will do fine on one side of the yard but I'm looking for something very similar in size for the other side. We are going to fill in the other areas of the yard w hill country type plants/trees (lantana, salvia, mt laurel). Any ideas..

ANSWER:

There are two tools that you can use to help you select a tree for your yard (we’re talking about native plants here).

The first is the Recommended Species Page in our Native Plants Database . To start, click on “View Recommended Species Page”.  Clicking on Central Texas on the map will bring up a list of 156 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. Since we are interested in trees for now, go to the Narrow your Search Box of the right side of the screen and make the following selections; select Texas under State, tree under General Appearance, and perennial under Lifespan. Check Sun under Light Requirement, Dry under Soil Moisture, and 12-36 under Height. Click the Narrow your Search button and your list shrinks to 13 trees. Clicking on the scientific name of the tree will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant along with growth characteristics and requirements and in most cases photos. You can also use the Database to look for wildflowers, and shrubs.

The second tool is the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas A&M Forest Service. It is an interactive guide that has lots of information, and is fun to use. It not only has the “Express Tree Selector” and “Custom Tree Selector” to help with tree selection, but the Tree Planting & Care section gives information to help you buy, plant, and care for your new tree.

I think that using the two tools in combination will allow you to select a great tree for your back yard.

 

More Trees Questions

Plants under an oak tree from Corpus Christi TX
June 30, 2012 - My project: To grow white turk's cap under an old oak tree I first planted St. Augustine sod this spring because we had many oak suckers around the tree. We mixed new soil and compost, and laid the ...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for revegetation project
October 05, 2007 - We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the e...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011 - We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
view the full question and answer

Cause of trees losing bark in Arkansas
December 27, 2011 - I live in very rural Arkansas and we did have extreme heat this past summer and since then I have noticed several trees in the woods that have lost huge strips of their bark and I was wondering if it ...
view the full question and answer

Treating cuts in tree trunks
November 21, 2009 - We have two young trees that deer made bad cuts in the trunks. What can we put on cuts to keep bugs and disease from getting in them.? Thank you.
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