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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - May 25, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need suggestions for a replacement tree for Hackberry tree in Austin, TX in Austin TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


We have a large hackberry tree in our front yard. We are cutting it down this fall. I would like to replace it with a tree native to this area..preferably something fast growing. What are your recommendations?


Mr. Smarty Plants often gets questions about tree selection, so I am going to refer you to a previous answer to a similar question. It will introduce you to our Recommended Species Page and the Texas Tree Selector which are great tools for picking out trees. The Tree Planting & Care section of the Tree Selector has information to help you buy, plant, and care for your new tree.
The “How to Plant a Tree" article from our Step by Step Guides should also prove helpful.


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January 20, 2015 - I have a small yard in Santa Cruz, CA and we have to hide/distract from a power line. My husband is demanding a redwood. Is this sane? The space it will have to grow in is about 20x20. What species of...
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Is mulberry tree inhibiting growth of plants under it in Wilmington DE?
June 21, 2009 - I have a large mulberry tree in my yard and the plants around it are not flowering or growing, some are now dead. Could the mulberry tree be toxic to other plants?
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Norway Pine vs. Norway Spruce
April 28, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Is a Norway Pine the same species of tree as a Norway Spruce?
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Plants for heavy clay in Sonoma County, California
July 10, 2013 - Hi, I live in Northern California, Sonoma County, and would like to transition my front garden into mostly native plants. Trouble is, my soil is clay, yicky, heavy clay, and some of the natives I've ...
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