En EspaŅol

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?


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
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

Friday - October 26, 2007

From: Coquitlam, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Trees
Title: Advice on planting Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) in Vancouver, BC
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in the Vancouver, BC - Pacific Northwest area and the front of our yard faces south to southwest. If I were to plant a tree other than an evergreen, would the Korean Dogwood thrive in this area of the country? Also, the neighbour's cedar hedge divides our properties - what small shrubs or plants would thrive with this cedar hedge?


Vancouver is listed in Plant Hardiness Zone 6-7 and the Universtiy of North Carolina lists Cornus kousa (Korean dogwood) as being suitable for Zones 5-8. As its name implies, Korean dogwood is native to Asia, not North America. Although it would probably survive in Vancouver, perhaps you might consider planting a North American native, Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood). It looks very similar to the Korean dogwood and occurs naturally in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. You can see a maps showing the distribution of C. kousa and the distribution of C. nuttalli and see that the native species is more widespread in the Vancouver area.

You can do your own search for suitable plants for your area in the Native Plant Database using the "Combination Search" option and choosing your own criteria for plants but, here are some suggestions for small shrubs that should do well near the cedar hedge:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Empetrum nigrum (black crowberry)

Gaultheria shallon (salal)

Mahonia aquifolium (hollyleaved barberry)

Rosa acicularis (prickly rose)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry)

Cornus nuttallii

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Empetrum nigrum

Gaultheria shallon

Mahonia aquifolium

Rosa acicularis

Vaccinium vitis-idaea


More Trees Questions

My newly planted Mountain Laurel isn\'t doing well.
March 13, 2009 - My mountain laurel was planted from a container in Dec. It is in part sun, clay soil, and its leaves are turning yellow. should I move it or will that kill it?
view the full question and answer

Bark flaking off oaks in New Braunfels, TX
April 12, 2010 - We have several large clusters of oak trees. Some of the trees are losing their bark. The bark is flaking off in fairly large pieces; even on some of the trees that are leafing out. Is this a result o...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a tree not toxic to horses in Pennsylvania.
May 26, 2009 - I'm sending a tree as a gift and I need to know what I can get that is non toxic to horses. Can you please suggest a few.
view the full question and answer

How to tell the girls from the boys in wax myrtles (Morella cerifera)
May 14, 2010 - How would I be able to identify whether my wax myrtles are male or female plants? I was given two plants last fall (that came from a family members back yard) and the person who gave them to me didn'...
view the full question and answer

Landscape buffer in Bluffton SC
January 21, 2010 - I have to install an irrigated landscape buffer along the outside of a 6'high x 42'long privacy fence about 8' from a public sidewalk in Bluffton, SC. The property owners association requires 4' t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center