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

Friday - October 05, 2007

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees for revegetation project
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the easement behind our fences. In June their contractor mistakenly cut down this 20' easement behind 3 houses. We have been in discussions since then and the developer has come up with a plan. One of the trees they are recommending is a Leyland Cypress. We have found notations on the internet regarding this evergreen some good, some bad. Other trees recommended were liveoaks, red oaks and cedar elm. Since the ultimate goal is for a tree based privacy barrier that grows as quickly as possible we are wondering which trees would be the best choice. Our soil is alkaline and rocky. The developer has offered to put in a 3' berm which would help with both soil conditions and starting height of the trees. We have a meeting to finalize this with them soon. Would it be possible for you to give us a recommendation for this type of landscaping? The developer is offering 6" caliper trees which they say is the largest they can put in. Our MUD Horticulturist says to put in 2" trees as 6" would be more stressed. Thank You for your assistance.

ANSWER:

Here are recommendations concerning your developer's revegetation plan:

1. We do NOT recommend Leyland Cypress. It is not a native. If you want evergreens, we suggest:

a. Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)
b. Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel)
c. Leucophyllum frutescens (cenizo)
d. Morella cerifera (wax myrtle)

2. Since liveoaks and red oaks are susceptible to oak wilt disease, we recommend that you substitute, or at least include, some oaks that are resistant to oak wilt disease. Here are a couple of suggestions:

a. Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)
b. Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak)

3. Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) is a good choice.

4. We agree with your horticulturist that the smaller diameter trees are better.


Juniperus virginiana

Sophora secundiflora

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus muehlenbergii

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

More Trees Questions

Ground Arizona ash wood suitable for mulch?
April 23, 2015 - We cut down a 40 year old Arizona ash tree and had the stump ground into mulch. Can we use this mulch in our vegetable garden and flower beds
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Arborvitae and flower garden fighting for space in Seattle WA
May 22, 2010 - Hi, I put in dozens of Arbovitae, mature evergreen trees, 4 yrs ago for privacy. They are doing well, but I was surrounding a flower garden which now appears to be suffering due to the root system of ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Chilopsis in Florida
July 25, 2013 - I live in St. Johns County, FL between Jacksonville and St Augustine. I live inland, not near the beach. I bought a small desert willow plant in Victoria, TX and brought it back to FL to grow. I plan ...
view the full question and answer

Time to trim oak trees in Austin
October 29, 2011 - We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?
view the full question and answer

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