Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
June 11, 2013 - My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?
view the full question and answer

Need information about pruning Persimmon trees in Buda, TX.
November 29, 2010 - Mr. Smarty, We have many wild persimmon trees in our yard. Some I want prune to bush size. What is the best way to prune these trees and to what extent can they be safely pruned. Thank you for shari...
view the full question and answer

Shade tree for Southern California
November 14, 2013 - I had to cut down my huge ficus tree for several reasons, however it provided lots of shade, that we miss. Can you help me find a good shade tree with non-invasive roots that is good for growing and p...
view the full question and answer

Native trees as alternatives to Japanese Red Maple
October 24, 2007 - Where can I find some Japanese Red Maples to collect seed?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree to provide block for treehouse in Central Texas
April 02, 2010 - I live close to Austin TX and need an evergreen tree to block neighbor's newly constructed, metal roof tree house. It looms over our garden and yard - can you suggest a nice evergreen tree for hot m...
view the full question and answer

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