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

Monday - January 11, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?

ANSWER:

Of course, you need to protect the trunks and branches from injury, but equally important is protecting the roots from damage by limiting as much as possible heavy traffic over them.  The University of Minnesota Extension Service's Protecting Trees from Construction Damage:  A Homeowner's Guide has an excellent discussion of possible problems and their solutions. Unfortunately, however, Arbutus xalapensis (Texas madrone) is not on their list of Tree Characteristics showing the tolerance of various trees to construction disturbance; so, to be on the safe side, I would treat the madrone as intermediate or medium in sensitivity at the very least and, perhaps, even as very sensitive to root damage.  Given the difficulties in propagating the tree and its increaing rarity, you should take especial care of your beautiful trees.   Here is a nice discussion of the Texas madrone.

Here are a couple of other excellent articles—Avoiding Tree Damage During Construction from the International Society of Arboriculture and Protecting Trees During Construction from the University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service.

 

More Trees Questions

Problems with Mountain Laurel in Leander TX
June 15, 2009 - My 13 yr old Mountain Laurel tree is sick. It has lost most of its leaves after blooming this spring. The twigs seem to still be pliable so I assume alive. I saw no moth worms or bags this year, ju...
view the full question and answer

Disease and soil disturbance effects on Pacific madrone
April 02, 2007 - I have a couple acres, here in Northern California Sierra Nevada foothills. My property has many, many trees - quite a few are the beautiful (yet messy!) Arbutus menziesii, or Pacific Madrone. Some ...
view the full question and answer

Native Shrubs to Plant with Viburnum in New Jersey
February 11, 2014 - Please provide me with a list of native shrubs, plants etc. for New Jersey that would work with my existing native viburnum.
view the full question and answer

Difficulty of watering at drip line of trees from The Woodlands TX
August 18, 2011 - I'm watering my couple dozen native mature trees to make sure they survive this drought and its aftermath..and I'm reading about how to water at the drip line. But..all of my trees' drip lines ext...
view the full question and answer

Black walnut herbivory
June 13, 2005 - We moved to Texas just about a year ago and have loved it here. This past January we visited the Wildflower Center and obtained some black walnut seeds. Up until last night the tree was doing well p...
view the full question and answer

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