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

Saturday - February 26, 2011

From: Marble Falls, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Native Shade Tree for Central Texas
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

My parents are buried in Round Mountain Cemetery close to Marble Falls, TX. Can you recommend a tree or shrub we can plant to shade their graves? We need something that can survive and grow in the hot sun with very little water and very little care. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants hopes that a beautiful native tree can provide shade and comfort for your family.  How about a Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash)?  They are fairly fast growing, giving shade and food for the birds.  An issue you may find in Round Mountain is the deer.  Deer like to browse on Green ash, like they do on so many plants, so the young trees will need protection until they are established. Just remember that any tree you plant will need some care in general the first 2 years. You might want to consider a tree irrigation bag around the base to make sure it has good moisture in that critical growth period, especially if it's planted in the spring or summer.


Fraxinus pennsylvanica

 If the Green ash is not quite to your liking, here are a few more recommendations that should do well, although they will not be as large and have the spread of the Green Ash.  Two trees that are rated as “moderate deer resistance” are Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) and Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac).  In the “High Deer Resistance” category, I like the Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore) and the Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeye)

              
Rhus lanceolata
           Ilex vomitoria             Ungnadia speciosa      Platanus occidentalis                            

All of these fine native trees will provide shade for the graves and will do fine in the hot Central Texas climate once you've given them a little help to start out!

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Plants for shade
August 19, 2008 - I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?
view the full question and answer

Small, drought and shade-tolerant perennials for Austin, Texas
March 22, 2010 - We need suggestions for small, drought- and shade-tolerant perennials to be planted in Austin, Texas, please.
view the full question and answer

Hummingbird Attracting Plants for Shade in Smithville, TX
March 28, 2012 - I want hummingbird plants for shade.
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of Hydrocotyl bonariensis as lawn replacement
March 22, 2008 - Want to convert lawn TO dollar weed! My Garland TX yard has become so shady over the years that I have a hard time with grass. A few years ago I noticed dollar weed in the grass which seemed to cre...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing shade trees safe for livestock in pasture in Nashville GA
May 13, 2010 - I would like a list of fast growing shade trees that are safe for cows and horses in a pasture.
view the full question and answer

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