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 - September 28, 2013

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Drought Tolerant, Trees
Title: Native Trees for Pflugerville TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I'm looking for suggestions on native, drought tolerant conifers that can be located in a Pflugerville landscape under overhead electric lines. Open to Arizona Cypress, but concerned about the height. Not interested in perpetuating the allergies associated with Ashe Juniper? Just trying to find something a little different in a residential landscape and welcome any suggestions. Thanks!

ANSWER:

I have a few suggestions for you depending on which of all the characteristics you can weaken on first.  I searched the database for trees native to Texas that are evergreen and not-so-tall and have a decent number of suggestions!

If you really want conifers, that cuts the list right down!  As you mentioned, Hesperocyparis arizonica (Arizona cypress) showed up, but you might be as interested in the smaller Pinus cembroides (Mexican pinyon) or Pinus edulis (Colorado pinyon pine).  None of these are native to Williamson County, but instead grow farther out in West Texas.

 If you instead can tolerate simply an evergreen, then there are several possible selections.  Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) and Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) are fully native to Williamson County, are a decent height, and are interesting.  A bit farther out from Williamson County several interesting trees are native.  These include Ilex opaca (American holly), Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon), Leucaena retusa (Goldenball leadtree), and Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel).

Finally, I hear your reluctance towards Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper).  I share that!  But, if you want to explore Cedars,  then there are several relatives native to Texas.  Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) is found closest to Williamson County. Juniperus deppeana (Alligator juniper) and Juniperus flaccida (Weeping juniper) are native a bit farther out.  In any case, these Junipers should not be as hard on the allergic!

 

From the Image Gallery


Colorado pinyon pine
Pinus edulis

Arizona cypress
Hesperocyparis arizonica

Mexican pinyon
Pinus cembroides

Texas madrone
Arbutus xalapensis

Texas persimmon
Diospyros texana

American holly
Ilex opaca

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Alligator juniper
Juniperus deppeana

Weeping juniper
Juniperus flaccida

More Trees Questions

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
view the full question and answer

How far east to avoid Ashe juniper pollen from Austin?
September 04, 2010 - How far East of San Antonio and Austin do I have to go to avoid the pollen of Juniperus Ashei? Is Bastrop county safe? I'd be happy if it were gone 90% of the winter days - will the wind keep it aw...
view the full question and answer

Freeze-damaged Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
May 05, 2011 - I have a Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) that is several years old. During this past winter, one of the freezes we had split one of the largest trunk right below the soil line. T...
view the full question and answer

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Bark problems on Platanus occidentalis (American Sycamore)
May 29, 2008 - I got home today, after two hot sunny days, and found that one of the sycamores (street tree) planted last year (3-4" caliper) has vertically split and peeling bark on the south side of the trunk (la...
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