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
2 ratings

Wednesday - November 25, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need help selecting maple cultivars in Houston.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live in Houston, TX and would like to plant 2 red maples in my front yard. I know there are multiple varieties planted down here, but I can't tell which one would do best. The ones that I've come across are Drummond's, Autumn Blaze, and October Glory. Which one will do the best in the hot, humid Houston climate?

ANSWER:

Red maples are a popular landscape tree, and ones that you mention, which are cultivars of Acer rubrum (red maple), are spectacular. There is more to think about when selecting a tree than surviving hot and humid Houston. You need also to consider things like soil type, soil drainage, and soil pH; all of these affect the growth of the tree. Since we know none of these things about the site where the trees will be planted, it would be difficult to recommend a plant for you. instead, I will give you some information sources that can help you with your decision.

The first is the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service. By Using the Custom Tree Selector, you will learn their recommendations for Harris County.

This website of the Houston Parks and Recreation Dept has a wealth of information about trees ranging from selection, to planting, to complying with the tree ordinance.

Clicking on the name of each plant below will bring up a page of information about that cultivar.

Drummond's

October Glory

Autumn Blaze

For a source of help closer to home, I suggest that you contatct the folks at the  Texas AgriLife Extension Service for Harris County.

 


Acer rubrum

 

 

More Trees Questions

Healthy black walnut trees from volunteer saplings
May 07, 2008 - We just purchased a piece of property in the Texas Hill Country. There is a stump of a large black walnut tree that has four healthy looking samplings shooting up. Each is about 10 feet high. The o...
view the full question and answer

Live oak sprouts in Austin
August 01, 2010 - How can I control the hundreds of live oak sprouts our lovely trees are throwing off? We recently landscaped with rain gardens and the related drainage ditches; they are filled with these very happy ...
view the full question and answer

Lifespan and pruning of cedar elm in San Antonio
October 03, 2009 - How long do cedar elm trees live? How can you estimate the age of one, or tell if it is nearing the end of its normal lifespan? Do you have any recommendations for selecting someone to prune it proper...
view the full question and answer

Water requirements for fruit trees in California
January 15, 2013 - Dear Sir; In which of these options (fruit trees) the need for watering in irrigation process is higher than the others: -Olive tree -Nectarines and peaches trees -Hazelnut trees -Pistachios and ...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Spruce Pine (Prunus glabra)
September 02, 2015 - I have a Pinus glabra/spruce pine that is approx. 7' tall. It's limbs are few and some have been broken. Will trimming back the longer limbs to give it a Christmas shape harm this tree?
view the full question and answer

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