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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.

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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.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Wednesday - May 22, 2013

From: Fort Worth, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Drought Tolerant, Trees
Title: Drought resistant small tree for Ft. Worth TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for suggestions for a small tree (no more than 25 feet max)that is drought resistant but can handle a little irrigation and a lot of wind. Something showy is a plus. Grouped with salvias and yuccas.

ANSWER:

We will go to  our Native Plant Database and scroll down the page to the Combination Search. (You did know Mr. Smarty Plants will only recommend plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants evolved; in your case, Tarrant CO, TX, right?) So, we will search on Texas for state, "tree" for Habit, "dry" for soil moisture, and 12' to 36' for Height. We know that is taller than you want, but it's a size range. By following each plant link to our webpage, you can find the true estimated mature height and select accordingly. You probably are aware that Nature does not take custom orders, so the tree might end up taller or shorter than what you specified, depending on moisture, sunlight, etc. We don't have a search designation of "showy" on our search list, but we will take a look at what we can find. We will check the USDA Plant Profile Map (link at bottom of webpage on each plant) to make sure that tree is native to the area of Tarrant County to help ensure that the climate, rainfall and soils are compatible with the needs of the plant. Niow that you know how to use our database, you can make your own searches and select on your own characteristics.

Small Trees For Tarrant County area:

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)

Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf dogwood)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

We want to caution you that we do not recommend planting woody plants (trees and shrubs) this time of year. Ordinarily, they should be planted in November to February in Texas, when they are at least partly dormant. We did find some showy blooming trees but remember they will only bloom a few weeks. If you follow the plant links to our webpage on each plant, there will be information on color and time of blooms. Some will have to mature some years before they even begin to set blooms.

Before you begin, please read our Step-by-Step Article on How To Plant a Tree.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Desert willow
Chilopsis linearis

Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

American holly
Ilex opaca

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Mexican plum
Prunus mexicana

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