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
1 rating

Sunday - June 21, 2009

From: Flower Mound, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tall, narrow evergreen for front of house in Flower Mound, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Please recommend a tall, narrow evergreen to be placed at the front corner of my house.

ANSWER:

Your request for a tall, narrow evergreen is a tall order. You are likely thinking of some of the non-native cypresses when you specified that description. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. A plant native to an area will be adjusted to the rainfall, climate and soils of that area, and will require less water, fertilizer and maintenance. Three that we found coming closest to your desired plant all represent some compromises. Also, you must be careful about how close to your house you plant any tree. Just because they are somewhat columnar in shape doesn't mean the roots are. The roots may spread out up to three times the circumference of the mature tree, and will interfere with foundations, sidewalks and driveways. None of these trees will retain a totally conical shape over their lifespan; some pruning might be possible, but as the trees grow larger, that will no longer be feasible.

Trees for North Central Texas

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) - evergreen, grows to 30 to 40 ft., narrow, compact and columnar crown, low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Taxodium distichum (bald cypress) - deciduous, 50 to 75 ft., slender and conical in youth, medium water use, sun or part shade

Ilex vomitoria (yaupon) - shrub or small tree, evergreen, 12 to 20 ft., upright, low water use, part shade


Juniperus virginiana

Taxodium distichum

Ilex vomitoria

 

 

More Trees Questions

Removing yaupon hollies from yard in Austin
July 04, 2009 - We recently moved into a home w/ way too many and much too large (20-30') yaupon holly's in the back yard. I had some of them cut down, but they keep coming up from the roots of the old trees. How ...
view the full question and answer

Spacing of Trees near a House Foundation
June 18, 2015 - Can you recommend non-invasive shade tree that can be planted 6 to 7 feet from foundation. We are buying a new home in zone 8a and choices that are given are: Live Oak, Lacebark Elm, Cedar Elm, and B...
view the full question and answer

a source for fruitless olive (non-native) trees
June 29, 2012 - I was given a "mexican olive" several years ago which is doing very well. This one is non-fruiting and I would like to have another that is non-fruiting but cannot find one. Cordia boissieri see...
view the full question and answer

What are the grey-green plants on oak trees in San Marcos, TX?
March 12, 2011 - The oak trees in the neighborhood in San Marcos, TX, are covered with clumps, or balls, of gray/green fluffy-looking plants. they remind me of bromeliads. You can pull and knock them off; after wind ...
view the full question and answer

Can a pecan tree be kept from producing for a season?
July 03, 2009 - Can a pecan tree be kept from producing for a season?
view the full question and answer

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