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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.

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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.

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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!

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Saturday - May 02, 2015

From: venus, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Need an inexpensive blooming tree in Venus, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I need a non expensive booming tree for our yard.

ANSWER:

I’m assuming that you meant a blooming tree, and the expense of the tree is going to depend on the kind of tree you select, and the size of the tree you select.

Let’s start out with me telling you  how to use our Native Plant Database to select some trees for your yard.  The Native Plant Database  contains 7,161 plants that are searchable by scientific name or common name. If you are not sure what you are looking for, you can try the Combination Search or the Recommended Species lists. There are several ways to use this feature to find plants, and I will show you just a couple. 

Click on the Native Plant Database link, scroll down to the Combination Search box, and make the following selections: select Texas under State, Tree under General Appearance, and Perennial under Lifespan. Under Light Requirement, and Soil Moisture check the boxes that fit your situation,  check Mar., Apr., and May under Bloom time, and Check white, red,  pink, orange, and yellow under Bloom Color. Click on the Submit combination Search button and you will get a list of 43 native species that you can chose from. Clicking on each of the Scientific names will bring up its NPIN page that gives the characteristics of the plant, its growth requirements, and in most cases, photos.

To use the Recommended Species lists, go to the Native Plant Database and click on Recommended Species Lists just above the search box.  This takes you to the Special Collections page  where you will find the Recommended Species by State box.  Clicking on Texas-Central will bring up a list of 156 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in Central Texas. After reading through a few of these you’ll realize that all of them aren’t trees and you need to narrow your search. Go to the ”Narrow Your Search” box on the left of the screen and make the selections  that you did before. Click on the Narrow your Search button, and you will get a list of 58 plants suitable for Central Texas. You can get several different lists by changing the selections in the Narrow Your Search box.

Another tool that is useful for tree selection is the  Texas Tree Planting Guide  produced by the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M. It also contains information about tree planting and care.

Utilizing our Suppliers Directory  can help you find businesses in your area that sell native plants.

 

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