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
8 ratings

Tuesday - April 14, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need substitute plants for Red Tip Photinia in San Antonio.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Looking to replace Red Tips with major leaf spot infections. Need about third replaced. What suggestions would you have to replace these privacy hedge row type plants? Need a plant that will grow at least 5 feet tall. The plants are provided with water by a drip sprinkler system. Thank You.

ANSWER:

Red Tip Photinia (Photinia x Fraseri) in a non native plant, however it has been widely used as a hedging plant through out the south. With  the spread of the fungal disease Entomosporium leaf spot, many hedges have died or are dying out.

There are several options for replacing the Photinias, and Mr. Smarty Plants hopes that you will choose native species that are better adapted to your area. You can go to our Recommended Species page  and select Central Texas on the map. Click on NARROW YOUR SEARCH, and make the following selections: select Texas under state, Shrub under Habit, Perennial under Duration, and Sun under Light Requirement. Click the Narrow Your Search button and you will get a list of plants to choose from for your hedge. You can alter the list by changing the selected items.

Here are some suggestions from that list:

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - evergreen

Leucophyllum frutescens (Texas barometer bush) - evergreen

Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) - evergreen, fragrant foliage

Osmanthus americanus (devilwood) - evergreen

Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry) - evergreen, handsome hedge plant

This Clemson University Extension website thouroughly discusses Photinia, its culture, its problems, and recommended substitutes, although several of their suggestions are non natives. Of particular interest for your situation is the section on Mixed Screens.


Ilex vomitoria

Leucophyllum frutescens

Morella cerifera

Osmanthus americanus

 


Prunus caroliniana
 

More Trees Questions

Summer flowering small trees for NY
April 20, 2011 - Request recommendations about trees for terrace. Would like flowers or color in summer; not spring. (Some of my trees are twenty five feet high.) Full sun, some wind, large containers. Please recomme...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping plant for Austin
September 01, 2011 - Great site! Have gotten lots of ideas. We're about to start construction on a fairly major landscaping project: raised beds/privacy screen. We're at the top of a hill in the Hill Country just wes...
view the full question and answer

Root suckers growing from base of oak in California
November 24, 2008 - I planted four trees labeled by the nursery when purchased as "Louisiana Oaks" approximately 20 yrs ago in my front yard. All trees are growing well but one of the four has a progressing mass of ro...
view the full question and answer

Desert Willow and Orchid tree with no upper leaves from Kerrville TX
May 30, 2013 - I have two 5 year old Desert Willows planted in my yard. This year only one has leaved out and blooming. The other is bare but the branches are not dead and it has new growth at the bottom. Do you kno...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from The Woodlands TX
July 22, 2013 - Your plant database does not distinguish 2 native tree species. Common names for these 2 trees: American hophornbeam and ironwood or musclewood. These common names are used for both trees - even m...
view the full question and answer

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