Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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

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

Fast growing native trees for Austin
June 15, 2006 - What are your suggestions for a fast growing native tree that will do well in the clay soils of North Central Austin? I just had a 30 foot hackberry tree fall and would like to restore some shade to m...
view the full question and answer

Disappearance of leaves on desert willow in Tucson AZ
August 08, 2009 - We have a Lois Adams Desert Willow (Tucson, Az). The leaves will pump out and then a day or so later, all of the leaves are gone. The only bugs we've seen on it are very, very small ants. Could this ...
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurel having trouble in AZ
June 07, 2011 - A Sophora secundflora (Texas mountain laurel) was planted to an Arizona north faced front yard last year in August under full sun. Starting early this year, I noticed its leaves turn to light green an...
view the full question and answer

Tree Recommendations for Hutto, TX
September 28, 2014 - I live in Hutto, TX. I want shade trees in my back yard. I would like a fast growing tree as well as a slower growing tree. What trees are recommended for my area?
view the full question and answer

Season to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle from Fallbrook CA
July 25, 2013 - Would like to know which season would be the best to plant Pacific Wax Myrtle in Fallbrook, CA area? I presently have invading bamboo, which I want to get rid of. Thank you!
view the full question and answer

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