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

Wednesday - May 20, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native Texas tree for anniversary in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband and I would like to plant a tree in our yard commemorating our 5 year anniversary (wood anniversary). What native Texas tree can we plant in June? I love Red buds and any pretty blooming trees; my husband wants a hardy, fast-growing shade tree. Do you have any suggestions?

ANSWER:

What a truly lovely idea! And Mr. Smarty Plants learns something every single day; we had no idea that the 5th wedding anniversary was wood. The only caution we would make, before we suggest some trees, is that you defer planting whatever tree you choose until December. Give each other a wooden reminder note or something of the sort. Your tree will have a much better chance of surviving and thriving if it is planted during the semi-dormancy of cool weather. The heat and dry weather in Austin in June can be daunting to anyone, and a fresh young tree with its little hair roots possibly damaged in transplanting needs every break it can get.

You say you want a pretty flowering tree, and your husband wants a fast-growing shade tree. We don't ordinarily recommend fast-growing trees, as they tend to break down readily, be easily damaged and short-lived. But there are some that grow fairly fast that would do. And we have just about stopped recommending oaks in the Austin area, because of the Oak Wilt problems here. Red oaks and live oaks are particularly susceptible to the disease, but there is one other oak that is moderately fast growing (for an oak) and pretty resistant to Oak Wilt. Because any tree will help to cool the area around your house, provide some shade, and add to the appearance of the yard, we will find several that we think would fit your specifications. To do this, we will go to the Recommended Species of our Native Plant Database, select on Central Texas and "trees" under Habit. If you would like to see more possibilities, you can repeat this procedure. Follow each plant link to the webpage on that individual plant to read about its expected size and appearance. To find out still more, go to the bottom of that webpage to the Google link to the Latin name of the tree. And Happy Anniversary!

Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) - 6 to 12 ft. tall, rapid growing, deciduous, blooms white, pink March to May. low water use, part shade

Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud) - 10 to 20 ft., deciduous, blooms pink, purple March and April, medium water use, sun or part shade

Chilopsis linearis (desert willow) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms white, pink, purple April to September, low water use, sun

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree) - 15 to 30 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms pink, yellow April and May, low water use, sun or part shade

Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) - 30 to 45 ft. tall, deciduous, water use low, part shade

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum) - 15 to 35 ft. tall, deciduous, blooms white, pink February to April, low water use, sun or part shade

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) - to 100 ft. height and width, deciduous, medium water use, sun, part shade, shade

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain-laurel) - evergreen, to 30 ft. tall, blooms blue, purple February and March, medium water use, sun or part shade

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) - 50 to 75 ft. tall, deciduous, medium water use, sun or part shade


Bauhinia lunarioides

Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Chilopsis linearis

Cotinus obovatus

Fraxinus texensis

Prunus mexicana

Quercus macrocarpa

Sophora secundiflora

Taxodium distichum

 

 

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Alleotrophic effects of caffeine found in Ilex species
January 24, 2007 - I'm doing research for my biology class on the alleotrophic effects of caffeine. I'm planning to use Ilex vomitoria as the caffeine-producing plant. As the control I want to use another non-c...
view the full question and answer

Seasoning oak for burning
December 18, 2008 - I have an oak on my property that has been dead for at least two years. It has produced no leaves. When I cut it down (it was 93 inches around), it looked extremely healthy. We split it up and my f...
view the full question and answer

Trees to replace some non-native invasives in Deltona FL
February 02, 2012 - I would like to replace 3 large ChinaBerry & 3 large Chinese Tallow trees in my good sized back yard with some local wildlife friendly trees native to the Deltona area(first area.) What do you recomme...
view the full question and answer

What are the green round growths on the edges of my oak leaves in Fairfax, OK
May 21, 2013 - round growths on the edge of oak leaves. ranging in size from a pearl to a lime. ranging in color from pale green to lime green. hollow, small ones appear to contain one small gnat sized seed. the la...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

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