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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 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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Wednesday - March 09, 2016

From: Salado, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Growing Loblolly Pine in Salado, Texas
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

I would like to plant a loblolly pine in Salado, Texas. Will these grow well here?

ANSWER:

The easy way to know if a tree will grow well in a certain area is to look around that area and see how many are growing. See any Pinus taeda (Loblolly pine)? That's what I thought. Loblollies prefer moist, sandy or sandy loam, acid-based soils. Is that what you have at your place? That's what I thought.

Salado is well west of the normal range for loblolly pines in Texas and the soils there are far from ideal for their growth. Does that mean you shouldn't try? Not at all. Mr. Smarty Plants has seen many trees growing where the textbook says they shouldn't. Just be aware that it will require a great deal of soil preparation before planting, treatment to increase the soil acidity and lots of water. 

It will be an uphill climb, but I wish you luck.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Loblolly pine
Pinus taeda

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