Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

Sunday - October 11, 2015

From: Belton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Trees
Title: Identity of evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin TX
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I am trying to identify an evergreen tree at Barton Springs in Austin. It is growing on the south lawn overlooking the pool. It has needles arranged in a fan like shape and makes a kind of crown-shaped fruit which dries then splits open along its length in several places to release the seeds it contains. It resembles some sort of cedar or cypress. I have seen these trees in Belton, Texas. I appreciate your help. Thank you, David

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants made a trip to Barton Springs to look at this tree and to take some photographs.  Unfortunately, it doesn't have any mature fruit on it at the moment which would make identifying it easier.  However, from the photographs our expert, Joe Marcus, believes it to be Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar).  You can see in the USDA Plants Database distribution map that it is native to the East Coast, but not native to Texas.  It has, however, been in the nursery trade for years and was chosen and planted in its spot overlooking Barton Springs pool many years ago.  You can see more photos and information from Virginia Tech, GoBotany (NewEnglandWild), Richard Stockton College and from LeafSnap.

 

From the Image Gallery


Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

Atlantic white cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides

More Trees Questions

Pruning native Senna lindheimeriana
September 28, 2008 - I asked a question about pruning a Texas Senna tree. The Texas Senna I have is either a S. wislizenii or a S.lindheimeriana. It is a beautiful tree that I purchased at a Texas Native Plant nursery. ...
view the full question and answer

Walnut tree root coming through basement floor in Portland, OR
February 10, 2009 - I have a walnut tree root coming through my basement floor. I need advice as to what will it do to tree when I remove the root, like another root though a different part of my home. It is a large tree...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Post Oaks
July 26, 2014 - I live in Houston and have two post oaks. One is right by my house. I'd like to trim them but was told they are sensitive and might die if I trim them. Is this true? What is the right course of ac...
view the full question and answer

Susceptibility of Shumard oaks to oak wilt
March 25, 2006 - I have planted a red oak tree. I am still trying to locate the ID tag for the type. I planted it two or three years ago. I purchased the tree from either Lowes or Home Depot. Is there a type of red oa...
view the full question and answer

Oak roots damaged by ax from Austin
July 03, 2013 - Hello. I am attempting to create my own tiny copy of the Wildflower Center within my yard. I'm using all native, drought tolerant plants. My front yard is full of live oaks. I used a sod cutter la...
view the full question and answer

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