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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Friday - May 02, 2008

From: Avon by the Sea, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree for New Jersey shore
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I'm looking for a small tree (max. 15 ft. with small spread) that will tolerate salt spray, wind, and full sun at the NJ shore. There is no protection in this location.

ANSWER:

This proved to be a little tricky. We went to our Recommended Species section for New Jersey, and searched on tree and full sun. There were several trees, but they all got really tall, well beyond the 15 foot height you were looking for. And we really couldn't find anything that indicated how they would take salt spray. So, we went back to Recommended Species and searched on shrubs, many of which can easily get up to your 15 ft. maximum. Since shrubs are usually denser and lower, they might very well withstand the wind and salt spray better than taller, thinner trees. We consulted the USDA Plants Profiles and found that all four of the plants we selected are found naturally in Monmouth County. We do feel, however, that our answers are probably inadequate for your needs. We suggest you get more local advice and possible plant selections from the Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension of Monmouth County. They are likely to have dealt with this problem before, and can make more informed suggestions. The website has phone numbers, directions to their office, e-mail address, etc.

TREES

Betula populifolia (gray birch)

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)

SHRUBS

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

Viburnum lentago (nannyberry) - Images


Betula populifolia

Juniperus virginiana

Rhus copallinum

 

 

 

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