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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Tuesday - September 08, 2009

From: Spring, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need a recommendation for a tree to replace an oak tree in Spring, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I recently had an oak tree removed from my yard and want to replace it with a nice tolerant shade tree. My yard measures 65x35. What are the best non-invasive shade trees to plant in my area?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering why you had to remove your oak tree, and what you consider a tolerant tree.

I have three sources to suggest that can help you select your replacement tree. First, go to our Recommended Species page and click on East Texas on the map. This will bring up a list of 133 commercially available native plant species suitable for planned landscapes in East Texas. Then go to the Narrow Your Search box on the right side of the page and select Texas for state, Tree for GENERAL APPEARNCE, and Perrenial for LIFESPAN. Check Sun for LIGHT REQUIREMENT and Moist for SOIL MOISTURE. Your list decreases to 10 trees. Clicking on the name of each tree will bring up its NPIN page with information about its growth characteristics and requirements, along with images. Try to pick the tree that meets the criteria for your lawn.

A second source is the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service and Texas A&M. By using the Custom Tree Selector, you will get a list of trees that are suitable for Harris County. Again, try to pick a tree that is suitable for your location.

This website for the Houston Area Urban Forestry Council has a wealth of information about trees ranging from selection, to planting, to complying with the tree ordinance in the Houston area.

Now is not the time to plant a tree in Texas, but if you use these sources to do your homework, you'll be ready when the time is right in late fall to early spring.

 

 

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