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

Viability of Taxus canadensis (Canadian yew) for Buffalo, NY
February 28, 2008 - I live in Buffalo, N.Y. and am gradually naturalizing my back yard. The previous owner built a 6' fence along the western edge of the yard and planted a straight line of arborvitae, which are now abo...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen trees for Long Island, NY
September 20, 2007 - I live on across from the water on the north shore of Long Island. I would like the names of some hardy trees that are both native to Long Island and also NOT deciduous! I am finding it easy to find...
view the full question and answer

Small tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
November 09, 2008 - I have the exact same question as a previous tree question from Huntington Beach California. When I click on the answer it brings up another question. I would like to know the answer given for the 10 ...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for horse pasture in eastern Washington
October 15, 2008 - Hi. I live in Washington State (eastern)What type of trees can I grow in a pasture for horses? Best Regards,
view the full question and answer

Can a Desert Willow grow in Nova Scotia Canada
October 20, 2012 - Can a chilopsis linearis grow in Halifax Nova Scotia Zone 6a?
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