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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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Sunday - September 28, 2008

From: Princeton, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Plants native to Central New Jersey
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What trees are native to Central New Jersey? Also, can you give me a website or information on plant life and tree life in Central New Jersey?

ANSWER:

We are going to give you instructions for getting this information for yourself from our Native Plant Database. Since we don't know what specific plants and/or habitats you might be interested in, we think this would be a more efficient way for you to do your research.

1. Go to our Recommended Species section, click on New Jersey on the map.

2. Next, using the Narrow Your Search option, click on "Tree" for habit.This will give you a list of 43 trees native to New Jersey that are recommended.

3. Select a tree, click on its botanical name on the list, which takes you to the webpage on that tree. Go to the bottom of the page where you will find "Search for (tree name) on the USDA Plants Profile". This will take you to a U.S. map with the states where this tree appears in green. Click the state of New Jersey on the map, and this will take you to a page that has the specific counties in New Jersey where that tree appears naturally. 

Example: We chose  Acer rubrum (red maple) from the Recommended tree list, and went to the USDA Plant Profile on this tree. It showed that all but one county (in Southwestern New Jersey) have the red maple growing naturally. So, that tree would qualify. 

You can do the same thing with other native plants you are interested in. Simply go to Recommended Species, click on New Jersey, and specify Herb (herbaceous plants), Shrub, Fern, etc. for the search. 

Another very good source for information on New Jersey native plants is the New Jersey Native Plant Society. This link takes you to their home page, which leads you to contact information, horticultural questions, etc. And, finally, you should contact the Rutgers University Mercer County Extension Office, which has horticultural information for your area, contacts with Master Gardeners and other resources that can give you closer-to-home information than we can.

 

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