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
2 ratings

Friday - November 07, 2008

From: Huntington Beach, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Small flowering tree for Huntingdon Beach, CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am looking for a short approx. 10 foot tall tree to plant in the 2 corners of my backyard near a wall. I would like them to be thin approx. 5 feet wide where light can get through so my other plants will get sun. There is mostly shade because of the 6 foot wall. I like trees that flower. Can you help me?

ANSWER:

Not many trees choose to remain that low, so we have added a couple of shrubs that can be trimmed up into a small tree. These have all been selected because they tolerate shade or part shade, and are fairly open, permitting sun to get to other plants. Two are deciduous, which means they will not shade your winter plants. All are found in Southern California.

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - blooms in early Spring, before the heart-shaped leaves appear, deciduous

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - deciduous, not a true willow, has beautiful pink, purple and white blooms in the summer

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) - evergreen shrub, can be pruned up to small tree

Morella californica (California wax myrtle) - evergreen shrub, also trainable into small tree, aromatic foliage, attracts birds; Pictures


Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Prunus caroliniana

 

 

More Trees Questions

Will a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4' brick planter. pl
September 14, 2015 - Would a Texas Mountain Laurel thrive in a 4'x4'x4'x4' brick planter with a drain at the bottom? It will get full sun all day. If not, would a Green Cloud Sage or a Waxleaf Myrtle work? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Problems with native palms in Austin
April 10, 2011 - We had a large variety of California fan palms and blue sabal palms in our yard that were damaged during the last freeze. We found that several of them now have "spear pull," which means we could p...
view the full question and answer

Blooms on Desert Willow withering quickly in Rockwall TX
July 15, 2010 - Why do the blooms on my Desert Willow dry up and wither away in one or two days?
view the full question and answer

Is post oak resistant to oak wilt from Dallas TX
November 22, 2013 - I am confused. The NPIN website says that Post Oak IS susceptible to oak wilt, but all the other information I have been able to find says that it is resistant to oak wilt and rarely gets the diesase....
view the full question and answer

Mountain ash seedlings in Yorkshire, England
May 25, 2008 - Is there any way I can stop Mountain Ash from seeding in my garden. This year in particular, I am absolutely overrun with the seedlings and once they get a hold they are difficult to remove.
view the full question and answer

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