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

Tuesday - February 08, 2011

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Nuttall oak to replace ornamental pears in Houston, TX?
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We recently bought a house in the heart of Houston that has 2 huge flaming pear trees that were planted too close to the house and just engulf the house. Our landscaper suggested taking them out and plant a Nuttall oak tree. Do you agree or have any other suggestions? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Though we're not familiar with the term, flaming pear, we are guessing you're referring to one of the ornamental pears or Asian origin.  Among the most common and potentially costliest landscaping mistakes is the planting of trees too close to structures.  When siting a new tree, its ultimate height and spread should always be primary considerations.

Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) would be a good choice for your area - it's native to Houston and much of the southeastern US - if the size of your yard and other factors allow for it.  Like most red oaks, it is fairly fast-growing and provides excellent shade and attractive late-fall leaf color.  Large deciduous trees, like Nutall oak, are particular welcome additions to landscapes on the western side of homes where they provide cooling afternoon shade in summer.

 

More Trees Questions

Native trees for revegetation project
October 05, 2007 - We live in a MUD just outside of Round Rock Texas. There is a developer building apartments behind about 20 houses. Last year, we got the developer to agree to leave 20' of native vegetation in the e...
view the full question and answer

Clear pungent, liquid oozing from oak tree
June 28, 2010 - I have a large oak that over the last few days has been oozing a pungent, non sticky, clear substance from one specific site (no damage) about the size of a dime. It's attracting quite a few gnats, m...
view the full question and answer

What's attacking my Nellie Stevens Holly plants in Iredell, TX?
June 27, 2011 - I just bought 10 Nellie R. Stevens holly bushes and planted them as a screen. The leaves on some of the plants are at least half white - not yellow but white. Apparently they were like that when I b...
view the full question and answer

Laurel oak tree not leafing out in Pasadena TX
April 13, 2010 - Hurricane Ike blew down our red bud in the backyard. Had a large 25' laurel oak planted early March 2010. When it was put in the ground, the leaves were on it, but they were all brown and dried. T...
view the full question and answer

Time to transplant an Eastern Redbud in Pearland, TX
November 17, 2010 - When is the best time in the fall to transplant an Eastern Redbud tree in Pearland, TX? We have one approximately 6 feet tall in the back yard and want to move it to the front ASAP.
view the full question and answer

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