En Español

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?


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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - August 14, 2013

From: Cedar Creek, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Evergreen Trees for Cedar Creek, TX
Answered by: Larry Larson


Hello I am wanting to plant some evergreen trees on my property out in Cedar Creek Texas. We have a lot of cedar trees but I really would like some live oaks. Is it possible to grow live oaks or something different that cedar out there?


   Sure, it’s possible to have Oaks, but it takes awhile! The way we find trees to recommend is to search the “Recommended Species” page.  For areas in Texas, these lists have been split up into the differing Texas Ecoregions.   Bastrop County is in Post Oak Savannah Ecoregion When I sorted for evergreen trees, there were six evergreen trees were recommended as successful natives including:

Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak)   [Hurrah!  the one you want!]

 Ilex opaca (American holly)

 Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon)

    From the place name and from your comment, you may want to put some effort into clearing and/or controlling the Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) growth. They are actually a native, but they have been so successful in Central Texas that they tend to crowd out the other trees and monopolize the water supply. This Mr. Smarty Plants question/answer pair has more detail towards watering care for young trees:  Watering practices for live oaks in drought from New Braunfels TX


From the Image Gallery

American holly
Ilex opaca

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

Ilex vomitoria

More Planting Questions

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping from Wilmington NC
December 22, 2012 - I plan on moving to Belmont NC in the next couple of years and settling down with my future wife in her home town. I am a huge do it yourself person. I love to make things from scratch, including buil...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
May 25, 2008 - I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bloom in hybrid lantana
June 30, 2008 - I live in Austin and have planted the newer lantana varieties which bloom with orange and pink flowers.They have been planted in full sun and get watered 2 times a week for about 15 minutes.They do no...
view the full question and answer

Care of Live Oaks
July 11, 2012 - We have Two Young Live Oaks in the front of Our home. We had them treated for insects, ect. Now what can we do to make them Full Green and Happy Happy Happy again.Thank You
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center