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?

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

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

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

Time for trimming oaks from Boerne TX
July 03, 2012 - I want to trim a native red oak but am scared to touch it because I dont want to lose it. It is the primary source of shade in our back yard. Also I want to trim the live oaks and am surrounded with O...
view the full question and answer

Source for Texas Olive Tree from Tucson AZ
August 10, 2013 - Can one start a Texas Olive Tree from the olives it produces? How can you start one. I am having difficulty finding a nursery, but do see the trees around.
view the full question and answer

Hedgerow to block sounds and scenes of traffic
May 01, 2011 - What would make the best year round hedgerow to block the sight and sounds of traffic 60 feet from my house?
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in sycamore in Kyle TX
August 04, 2011 - I'm trying to assist an elderly neighbor of mine with a plant issue. We have designated street trees in this community, our street being a Sycamore. The previous foreman out here called it a Mexica...
view the full question and answer

Replacing a Mexican ash with a live oak in Rockport TX
April 25, 2010 - I live in the Texas Coastal Bend (Rockport, TX). I recently lost a huge Mexican Ash, probably 45 years old. The trunk measures 11'6" at ground level, and gets progressively larger from there up. Its...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center