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

Sunday - April 15, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Soils, Trees
Title: Soil for Emory Oak from Dripping Springs, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I bought an Emory Oak today at the Wildflower Center's plant sale. Upon reading about it when I got home, I see "it won't grow in alkaline soils." I was hoping to plant it in the riparian area along a seasonal creek, near a pecan grove, in Dripping Springs, Texas. Am I out of luck? Thanks, Paul Clements

ANSWER:

We are pretty particular that everything that we sell at our Native Plant Sale is native to Texas and will grow there. You are correct, our Native Plant Database on Quercus emoryi (Emory oak) did state that it grows only in acid soils. That statement was an error in our database. Thanks to your question, we have corrected the database information.  Some of the facts in this database were entered years ago, and ever so often we find a previously-undetected error.

Emory Oak is not native to central Texas (in Texas, it grows near the Rio Grande) and your success with growing it will depend on local conditions.  However, the location you describe seems to be a very good match for its growing requirements.

From Plants for a Future, we found this quotation:

"The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade.It requires moist soil."

 

From the Image Gallery


Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

Emory oak
Quercus emoryi

More Trees Questions

Denying cows access to flowers through fence
March 20, 2008 - What flowers can I plant that cows will not eat? They stick their heads through the fence and eat anything they can reach. I would like to plant something in the fence row that will not hurt the cows...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Texas Mountain Laurel
September 04, 2014 - I've had a Texas mountain laurel for 4 years that's being trained into a tree. I think it was a 3-year old tree when I purchased it. Unfortunately, it has suffered from overwatering, and the two mai...
view the full question and answer

Protecting live oaks when removing jasmine in Austin
December 03, 2010 - Thank you for your answer to my question of eliminating a 25-year-old bed of Asian Jasmine. I have another question. There is a stand of live oak trees in this bed and as we are digging out the jasmi...
view the full question and answer

Native trees for small backyard in California
May 28, 2008 - I have a small backyard and very close to my neighbor. I want to plant trees that grow 15/20 high that can work as a screen although I have to be very careful with invasive roots. Also I have two sma...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

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