Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 Georgetown with shade in the AM and sun in the PM
September 30, 2015 - Hi, I live in Georgetown and I would like a recommendation for plants (shrubs and flowering perennials) that can handle deep shade until 1 or 2 pm and then have full sun blasting them til sun down. T...
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant, shade tolerant plants for Austin, TX
April 16, 2007 - I am looking for plants to put in my front yard--very shaded, and need to be deer resistant. I would love some things in the blue family. Also want blues in my back yard that is a combination of ful...
view the full question and answer

Partial shade plants for underneath ash tree in Tarrant County, Texas
April 20, 2011 - I have a BIG Ash Tree in my front yard that blocks out most afternoon sun. I generally get morning and evening sun. I am looking for something to plant around the base of the tree so my yard doesn'...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant plants for deep shade in Florida
June 23, 2012 - I am looking for indigenous, drought tolerant, leafy dense plants (kind of hosta like) that will grow in deep shade (under a tree that gets little sun) in Jacksonville, Florida.
view the full question and answer

Native alterrnatives for Bermuda grass in shade
July 30, 2007 - I have Bermuda Tif 419 on my lawn. As expected, there are small areas in the shade that the Bermuda is not doing well in. What would happen if I spread Zoysia seed in those shady areas? Would it gro...
view the full question and answer

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