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

Will a gift yucca survive in Northwest Arkansas?
June 28, 2011 - Had received a yucca tree as a gift and wondering if it will survive in the ground here in northwest Arkansas. It has a complete tropical look compared to my regular yucca plants. I believe it's actu...
view the full question and answer

Being over run by sugar hackberry saplings in Austin, TX.
October 06, 2010 - I have recently bought a house that has a woefully neglected yard. The sugar hackberry had saplings everywhere, and I paid to have them removed, but to no avail. My real concern is the saplings growin...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen trees with highest value for birds
April 02, 2007 - What native evergreen trees have the highest value for bird seed/fruit (other than Juniperus virginiana)?
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

Inflorescence of the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis)
December 28, 2007 - What kind of flower inflorescence do sycamores have?
view the full question and answer

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