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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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Sunday - April 03, 2016

From: Del Rio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Large, fast-growing shade tree for Val Verde County, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is an overall good shade tree, very large & fast growing, to plant in Central South Texas, Val Verde County region? I am told that virtually nothing but Live Oaks or some other type of Oak will grow here. I have a very large lot and need something other than Live Oaks, Spanish Oaks or Pecan trees.

ANSWER:

Here are three trees native to your area that grow rapidly and make good shade trees.  The two ash trees are small to medium trees and the oak tree is a large tree.

Fraxinus albicans [synonym=Fraxinus texensis] (Texas ash) is fast growing and grows to 30-45 feet.  Here is information from Texas Tree Selector.  The USDA Plants Database distribution map shows this tree growing in Edwards County, the adjacent county to Val Verde County.  

Fraxinus berlandieriana (Mexican ash) grows to 30 feet.  Here is more information from Texas Tree Selector.  The USDA Plants Database distribution map shows it growing in Val Verde County.

Quercus polymorpha (Monterrey oak) is resistant to oak wilt and grows to over 40 feet.  Here's more information from Texas Tree Selector and from Austin Tree Experts. It is semi-evergreen.  The USDA Plants Database distribution map shows it occurring in Val Verde County.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas ash
Fraxinus albicans

Texas ash
Fraxinus albicans

Mexican ash
Fraxinus berlandieriana

Mexican ash
Fraxinus berlandieriana

Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

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