Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - February 14, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Soils, Trees
Title: Need fast growing deciduous trees for Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We'd like to plant several fast growing deciduous trees in a full sun yard with a hard alkaline soil in the western edge of Travis Heights in South Austin. I've noted several locations in our neighborhood where Sycamores have grown very rapidly--Jo's Coffee on South Congress is one. Which Sycamore does best in our climate and soil? How wide/deep must the hole be? How must the soil be treated before planting? What is the range of planting season?

ANSWER:

Planting a tree is a good thing to do, and this link from TreeFolks  suggests that fall is the best time for planting in this part of the  country.

 Sycamore Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) is a good choice but the Tree Selector from Texas A&M can provide you with other choices. Be sure to look at the "Tree planting tools" feature.

Here are two links about soil from Bachmans.com:

  understanding soil

  acidifying soil 

The next step is to plant your new tree, and here are three links that can give you some help:

   from our step by step guides, How to plant a tree 

   from mikesbacyardgardening.com   includes a video

   from treehelp.com 

These should provide sufficient guidance to get you on you way.

 

More Planting Questions

Butterfly plants from Austin TX
December 17, 2012 - I have a butterfly garden in the front part of the house facing the south side. However it is also mostly under a few Oak trees that cast shadow over half of the front yard starting early afternoon. ...
view the full question and answer

Planting bluebonnets on UT Campus in Austin
January 07, 2012 - Hello! I am with a student organization on the University of Texas campus. Walking around campus, I have noticed the lack of the state flower of Texas, the bluebonnet. Our organization is hoping ...
view the full question and answer

Patience for slow-growing Baptisia
July 07, 2004 - I have three different varieties of well established Baptisia that I have had for several years ... none of them bloom. One of my plants got a very small flower in April, but just pooped out after th...
view the full question and answer

Transplant rootbound tree now from Kerrville TX
June 10, 2012 - I purchased a Blanco Crabapple tree. Should I plant it now or wait until Fall? (It is currently rootbound.) Second question: Our Mountain Laurel has a dead trunk and one trunk has already died. I c...
view the full question and answer

Removal of previously-planted perennials
July 23, 2008 - HI I JUST MOVED INTO A NEW HOUSE THIS YEAR THE PREVIOUS OWNERS PLANTED A LOT OF BEAUTIFUL PERENNIALS BUT I WANTED TO PLANT OVER ONE OF THE PERENNIALS THAT I REALLY DO NOT CARE FOR. IS THAT POSSIBLE? I...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.