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
3 ratings

Monday - September 29, 2008

From: Renton, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native trees for property in Washington State
Answered by: Barbara Medford


We bought a piece of property on Lake Wenatchee, Washington. It was cleared more than we would like and want to know what types of trees grow well there and can handle the snow. Should I wait until the spring to plant? Or are there varieties of trees that will take the snowfall levels if planted in the fall?


We did a little preliminary research on Lake Wenatchee, and it sounds like a beautiful place, except for the bears. In the Central Cascades, kind of between wet Washington State and dry Washington State, it averages about 24 inches of annual rainfall, so we'll be looking at trees that don't necessarily need a damp soil. However, the area also averages 150 inches of snow annually, so we would definitely recommend that you hold off until Spring to plant those baby trees.

We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, click on Washington on the map, and then Narrow Your Search by clicking on "Tree" for Habit, "Full Sun" (six hours or more of sun a day) for Light Requirements and "Dry Soil" for Soil Moisture. When we did this we got 12 possibilities, from which we will make suggestions. You can do the same thing, but change the criteria, perhaps to more shade or damper soil, and make your own decisions.

Another resource closer to home is your Washington State University Chelan County Extension Office. This homepage gives you contact information for the offices, directions, etc., as well as links to information such as Master Gardeners and Forest Stewardship. You may even be able to get more concise advice on reforesting cutover areas and/or sources of tree stock for those areas. Take a look at our suggestions and work out from there:

Acer macrophyllum (bigleaf maple) - deciduous, showy in Fall, pictures

Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone) - evergreen, pictures

Juniperus scopulorum (Rocky Mountain juniper) - evergreen, graceful ornamental

Pinus contorta (lodgepole pine) - evergreen, pictures

Pinus ponderosa (ponderosa pine) - evergreen

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen) - deciduous, Fall color

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry) - deciduous shrub or small tree, important food for wildlife

Quercus garryana (Oregon white oak) - deciduous, pictures

Juniperus scopulorum

Pinus ponderosa

Populus tremuloides

Prunus virginiana








More Trees Questions

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
view the full question and answer

Pruning technique for Anacacho Orchid from Austin
May 18, 2011 - I have an Anacacho Orchid tree that is about 8 ft tall and still young. It is doing quite well. I have never pruned it, but lately I have been considering it as some of the top branches are starting t...
view the full question and answer

Problem with flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolatta)
July 14, 2008 - My Flameleaf Sumac appears to have an insect infestation in the bark which oozes a sappy sticky substance. This has apparently caused one of the limbs to die. Will it kill the whole plant and is there...
view the full question and answer

Vehicle friendly oak trees for Austin
March 30, 2008 - Do Chinquapins, Shumards or Live Oaks produce lots of tree sap? I'm looking for a vehicle friendly Oak tree to be installed in parking areas in Austin, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Is it wise to cut suckers from live oak branches in April in Austin
April 07, 2010 - My live oak branches are filling with suckers and I would like to cut them now, April. Is that wise?
view the full question and answer

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