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
2 ratings

Wednesday - August 16, 2006

From: Providence Village, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Survivability of birch trees in Texas
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

Is it known whether Gray birch (Betula populifolia Marsh) will grow in North Texas? It seems like the only birch variety which might - and how short is a "short lifespan" for a tree?

ANSWER:

You will find references that state that Gray birch might perform in northern Texas, particularly in the panhandle region of the state. However, it is usually better to find native alternatives that are adapted to your area. Even if you can find Gray birch locally, its chances of success in North Texas' demanding summer conditions are iffy at best.

River birch, Betula nigra is the only birch known to be native to Texas where it is common along rivers and streams in the eastern part of the state. If you have an area with good soil moisture, this species might work for you.

The term "short-lived", when applied to a tree usually means the tree can be expected to die or develop problems serious enough to necessitate its removal within 20 to 50 years.
 

More Trees Questions

What is the pH of Bald Cypress needles?
February 24, 2010 - What is the pH of Bald Cypress needles?
view the full question and answer

How Do Persimmons Breed - Starkville, MS
August 14, 2012 - Thank you for your earlier response about the genders of native persimmon trees. We have two, a much larger one that has borne fruit for years and years and a smaller one that I'd just assumed was m...
view the full question and answer

The perfect tree for San Rafael CA
November 10, 2009 - Want to plant a tree that is slow growing and has shallow root system that won't lift the concrete, that does not shed, and is green throughout the year.
view the full question and answer

Is a Brandywine Maple messy from Westchester IL
November 06, 2011 - Brandywine Maple: Does this tree produce sap, seeds or flower? As a home owner I can't afford more maintenance with clogged gutters or a sap covered car. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Availability of seeds or plants for Texas Mulberry
September 12, 2006 - Is there any source of seeds or plants for Texas Mulberry?
view the full question and answer

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