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

Friday - May 31, 2013

From: Las Vegas, NV
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Would like a small tree for yard in Las Vegas, NV.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

would like a small tree with root system that grows down not spread on surface. Had raywood and medesto ash tree both died of desease. Diagnosed by arborist. Stated that these trees to big for my yard. Both of these tree root system was surface oriented rather the roots system that grows downward and can survive in Las Vegas, Nevada

ANSWER:

Both of the trees you had are well known for root problems. Did your arborist have any suggestions about a replacement tree?

One piece of information that would have been helpful is the size of your yard.  A tree planting guide from the Texas Forest Service  recommends that you plan on a space in your yard of 60 sq. ft. for a small tree, 120 sq.ft.for a medium tree, and 180 sq.ft. for a large tree. A small tree is up to 20 ft. tall, a medium tree is 20 to 40 ft. tall, and a large tree is 40 ft. or more.  The “Tree Planting Tools” section of the guide has good information about selecting, planting, and caring for your new tree.

Let’s look at some possibilities, but before we do that, we have a word from our sponsor: the mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is  to increase the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America, but to the area in which they are being grown.

Let me introduce you to our Native Plant Database where you can explore 7,415 native plants by scientific or common name. Scroll down to the Combination Search box, and select Nevada under State, tree under Habit, and perennial under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement and dry under Soil moisture, and 12 - 36 ft.under Height. Click the Submit Combination Search button, and you will get a list of 8 native species of trees. Click on the scientific name of each plant and its NPIN page will appear which contains information about growth characteristics and requirements. A choice that didn’t appear in the list isChilopsis linearis (Desert willow).

This list from your National Public Radio  station has some interesting choices. Be aware that Norm has some non-natives included.

This article from the Southern Nevada Water Authority  addresses some of your concerns about root systems in trees.

 

More Trees Questions

Need suggestions for trees with non-invasive root system in Paramus, NJ.
August 23, 2011 - What trees can I plant in New Jersey with non invasive root systems? We lost our tree to a storm and are looking for a viable replacement.
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom of 4-year-old redbud in Rochester, NY
May 20, 2009 - I planted a redbud four years ago and it still hasn't flowered - it does get the lovely leaves. When I planted it it was only an 18 inch stick. How long before it will bloom or is something wrong?
view the full question and answer

Landscape buffer in Bluffton SC
January 21, 2010 - I have to install an irrigated landscape buffer along the outside of a 6'high x 42'long privacy fence about 8' from a public sidewalk in Bluffton, SC. The property owners association requires 4' t...
view the full question and answer

Roots in foundation of home in Audubon NJ
February 17, 2012 - I live in an old house (almost 90 years old), and within the past year I have noticed in one area the concrete basement floor breaking. Today I finally made time to investigate. In these old houses ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning lower branches of Cordia Boissieri from San Antonio
December 08, 2013 - My Texas Wild Olive Tree is about 6 feet high now. I bought it at the 2012 plant sale. This past summer it put on new branches near the base of the tree which I would like to cut off (to encourage u...
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