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

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 Soils Questions

Plants native to Hudson River
December 03, 2010 - What plants grow along/in the Hudson River?
view the full question and answer

Improperly prepared building site in Virginia
June 24, 2008 - Hi, I have a question about planting on newly-built homesite. We just moved into a new home in DC suburbs (Northern VA) and the landscape is the worst of the builder grade. There are prickly junipers ...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping help for Gilmer, TX
September 01, 2008 - We have just moved to the beautiful hot state of Texas from warm California and we need some help! Our roses are dying, we have a patch about 25ft. by 3ft. that gets the rain run off like a little str...
view the full question and answer

Poor drainage in wildflower bed
November 10, 2004 - I have a flower bed that has given me difficulty because it has poor drainage but typically receives sun for most of the day. Salvia gregii was the only survivors for the initial landscaping attempt. ...
view the full question and answer

Fireplace ash as soil amendment in Maine
September 28, 2011 - It seems that the custom where we summer in Maine is to dispose of wood ash from the fireplace on the plants around the outside of the house. I think this is not a good idea. What is your opinion? I w...
view the full question and answer

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