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 - May 29, 2012

From: Whitehouse, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Poolside tree for Whitehouse TX
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

What would you recommend for native shade tree or flowering tree on the north side of a swimming pool in East Texas/Smith County? Trying to avoid too much dropping of flowers, nuts, etc. Looking to plant in a row, with height in the 20-40 range and width around 10-20.

ANSWER:

Mr Smarty Plants is a bit confused: a flowering tree without much dropping of flowers, fruits & nuts! You don’t really want a plastic tree do you!?!

Getting a bit more serious, I went looking at the trees recommended for your area [We have a special collection for the pineywoods] and used the sort feature to narrow out the trees selected to the ones listed as 12-36 feet tall.

On the clean side of this group are the evergreens.  Good selections for your area include Cyrilla racemiflora (Swamp titi), Ilex opaca (American holly), and Juniperus virginiana var. silicicola (Southern red-cedar).  Ilex vomitoria (Yaupon) is not only evergreen, but was noted for its fruit & berries. So it would fit well into that side of your request also.

There also were several deciduous trees on the recommended list.  These likely have more dropping of flowers & nuts, but may appeal to you.  A partial list includes: Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam), Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud), Cornus drummondii (Roughleaf dogwood), Cornus florida (Flowering dogwood) and Crataegus marshallii (Parsley hawthorn).

And finally, my eye is always caught by an interestingly different choice.  Aralia spinosa (Devil's walkingstick) may be a bit messy – but would be visually interesting [it's mentioned as “grotesque ornamental” in the description!]

 

From the Image Gallery


Titi
Cyrilla racemiflora

American holly
Ilex opaca

Yaupon
Ilex vomitoria

American hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana

Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

Roughleaf dogwood
Cornus drummondii

Flowering dogwood
Cornus florida

Parsley hawthorn
Crataegus marshallii

Devil's walking stick
Aralia spinosa

More Trees Questions

Native maples for the Austin, TX area
May 21, 2005 - I am new to the state of Texas. I lived in Canada all of my life and miss my maple trees. Are maple trees (green or red leafed varieties) able to thrive in Austin?
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin
May 02, 2010 - I have an adult (over 25 years?, 20 feet tall?) Mountain Laurel next to my house in Austin. The winter of 2009/10 it lost most of its leaves. It did bloom and leaf out this Spring--not vigorous espec...
view the full question and answer

How close to plant Prunus carolinia for a privacy buffer in Montgomery, TX.
December 16, 2010 - I recently purchased some Prunus caroliniana trees for a privacy buffer between my neighbor and me. I have not yet planted them. They are in 25 gallon buckets and are about 10 feet tall now. How mu...
view the full question and answer

Is Douglas maple (Acer glabrum var. douglassii) native
June 02, 2008 - Could you give me some information about Douglas maple? Moslty, I'm trying to find out if this plant is native or introduced to Idaho and/or U.S. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant plants for Waynesville MO
April 09, 2013 - We moved to Waynesville, MO (gardening region 6) and when we bought our house there was a nice looking gardening area in front of the house. It is shaded moderately by a Redwood Tree and was "occupie...
view the full question and answer

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