En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Native alternatives for Japanese maple

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - September 05, 2007

From: South Lake Tahoe, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Shade Tolerant, Trees
Title: Native alternatives for Japanese maple
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, I am a landscaper trying to create a landscape in a shaded area with no sun. The person likes a Acer palmatum, but I am not sure it will grow there. We live in South Lake Tahoe. So I know of some plants that will probably survive, but what kind of tree that looks like a maple or a acer will survive. I also bought a light meter. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) is an introduced species and since our mission at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes", Mr. Smarty Plants wouldn't really recommend using it. There are, however, two native species of maple that are found in El Dorado County, California—Acer glabrum (Rocky Mountain maple) and Acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple). According to our information, A. macrophyllum grows well in part shade so it might be your best choice of the two.

You can see photos and more information about Acer glabrum from the USDA Plants Database, Virginia Tech Department of Forestry and the Ministry of Forests of the Government of British Columbia.

You can see photos and more information about Acer macrophyllum from the USDA Plants Database, Virginia Tech Department of Forestry and the Ministry of Forests and Range of the Government of British Columbia.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Damage to Yucca rostrata from Nottingham, England
February 26, 2014 - Hi, I have a yucca rostrata which has had its head snapped off in high winds (we live in Nottingham, England) we have left the trunk in the ground, will this re grow?? What is the best thing to do wit...
view the full question and answer

Tree to replace non-native Japanese maple in Westerville, OH
September 19, 2009 - I am wanting to plant a Japanese maple in an area of my yard that probably gets too much sun for this plant. I am trying to figure out what kind of plant I could plant instead to get an Asian feel I a...
view the full question and answer

Decline in non-native crape myrtles
June 15, 2007 - I live in Round Rock and the ground is rocky about one foot beneath the surface. I have about 14 crape myrtles that have been doing very well for about 6 years now. Last year the leaves on 1 started...
view the full question and answer

Do Salvia coccinea and Salvia occidentalis occur in Hawaii
April 27, 2008 - Aloha, Would you please happen to know if the salvia occidentalis and the salvia coccinea are growing in a wild state in Hawaii, the quantity (small or large areas? What are the weather conditions ...
view the full question and answer

Planting a non-native rose on oak tree in Hutto TX
April 07, 2011 - I would like to consider planting an earth-kind climbing rose on the south side of my 12 ft oak tree. Is this a good idea? Will I create problems?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center