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

Native Texas Trees from Seed for Fence Line
July 07, 2016 - My parents have an unirrigated fence line on their property that they want to grow evergreen screening plants along. Given the difficulty of establishing nursery grown plants in such an unirrigated a...
view the full question and answer

Determination of native plants of North Carolina
April 24, 2006 - I am compiling lists of native plants to use in NC, and found that Dirr (Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) lists introduction dates (xxxx) for MANY of the trees you list as natives, e.g., Acer rubrum ...
view the full question and answer

Leaves on maple turning red in June in Pittsburgh PA
August 01, 2010 - We live in PA and have a medium sized maple tree in our back yard. It is not a red maple. This year, in June, the very top of the tree's foliage turned bright red. This bright red started at the t...
view the full question and answer

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Oaks at Wildflower Center from Wimberley TX
September 05, 2012 - I know you have numerous Quercus fusiformis examples at the ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. My question is, do you also have Quercus virginiana growing there? Also, is Oak Wilt a disease that ...
view the full question and answer

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