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 - November 08, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native evergreen to replace non-native chinaberry
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Looking for a native evergreen tree to replace a fruitless Chinaberry that was 35 years old. We have clay soil for about 3 feet and then you hit rock. Suggestions would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Here are several small to medium evergreen trees that grow well in Austin's soils and climate:

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) has beautiful purple flowers in the spring and usually grows to 10 or 15 feet.

Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) grows moderately fast and reaches a height of 15 to 30 feet.

Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) produces red berries (on the female trees) for wildlife and grows 10 to 25 feet high.

Juniperus virginiana (Eastern red cedar) usually grows to 30  or 40 feet, but can grow higher.

Ehretia anacua (Anacua) grows 20-45 feet high.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

Eastern red cedar
Juniperus virginiana

Anacua
Ehretia anacua

More Trees Questions

Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
view the full question and answer

Need help controling suckers from an ornamental plum in San Pedro, CA.
August 10, 2010 - I have an ornamental plum tree in my garden which produces a lot of suckers in my vegetable beds. I do not want to use harmful chemicals and cutting them back is a hopeless venture and leaves small...
view the full question and answer

Questioning native status of Alberta Spruce in New Jersey
November 11, 2005 - I am in the process of transforming my yard to native plants. Several years ago I planted a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. I want to be sure this isn't native before I remove it but haven't been able to fi...
view the full question and answer

Suffering Yaupon in Austin
July 14, 2012 - I am in the Austin area and I planted a Pride of Houston Yaupon in my back yard in March. It is in full sun. Lately the leaves have been turning pale green and now they fall off the tree upon touchi...
view the full question and answer

Trees with white blossoms in Crockett, Texas
March 21, 2015 - What are the trees that are blooming just East of Crockett Texas (off of Hwy 21) right now - fairly large trees - multitude of white blooms - almost like a wild plum or pear, but tree seems too large?...
view the full question and answer

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