En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Small native evergreen tree for Long Island, NY

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

Monday - October 06, 2008

From: Rockville Centre, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Small native evergreen tree for Long Island, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi, I am looking for an evergreen tree to plant on Long Island NY. I plan on planting it in my front yard. At maturity to about 10-15ft about 5 ft wide. Not sure about soil, the area gets good AM sun and a bit of PM sun. Thanks for your suggestions

ANSWER:

Okay, tough assignment. Most trees, evergreen or otherwise, will eventually get a lot taller than 10 to 15 ft. Most shrubs and trees in your USDA Hardiness Zone are going to be deciduous, except for the firs and pines. Most firs and pines get REALLY tall. And that's not a whole lot of sun. But never fear, Mr. Smarty Plants is here! We began with selecting shrubs that grow or can grow to the 10 to 15 ft. height, and are evergreen. Some of them are multi-trunk and should probably be allowed to grow that way. Some can be trained to be single-trunked, with the lower branches pruned off in the appropriate season (probably early Spring in New York). Some of the evergreen trees that we found can get much bigger than you want, but in cultivation usually don't get so large. And most of them grow pretty slowly, so maybe you could get used to the height, or move away before they become overwhelming.

When you think you have found some plants you are interested in, go to our Native Plant Suppliers section, type your town and state into the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed companies and landscape consultants in your general area.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) - 6 to 12 ft. tall, occasionally taller

Morella pensylvanica (northern bayberry) - To 12 ft tall, persistent, if not completely evergreen, leaves

Ilex opaca (American holly) - to 25 ft. tall

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar) - to 30 ft. tall, taller in the wild

Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas-fir) - 15 to 150 ft.

Picea pungens (blue spruce) - 50 to 100 ft. in wild, usually shorter in cultivation Pictures

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) - can grow 40 to 60 ft. tall, but under cultivation probably no taller than 30 ft. Pictures.


Cephalanthus occidentalis

Morella pensylvanica

Ilex opaca

Juniperus virginiana

Pseudotsuga menziesii

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Trees around the inland waterways in Virginia
August 07, 2010 - I am writing a piece about Virginia Beach, Virginia. Could you tell me other than Pine what trees are found in the forests around the inland waterways? Thank-you very much!
view the full question and answer

Are hollies toxic?
December 18, 2008 - Can I use holly from my landscaping to decorate food at Christmas?
view the full question and answer

Speed of growth of quercus agrifolia from Torrance CA
September 20, 2012 - I planted a quercus agrifolia in my front yard about 2 years ago without considering its ultimate size (it's about 10 feet from the sidewalk and 10 feet from our house). The tree is growing really fa...
view the full question and answer

White fuzz on Christmas tree from Lewisburg PA
January 04, 2011 - Our Canaan fir Christmas tree is now coated with white fuzz after being up for 4 weeks. The fuzz looks like spider webs, but it is also in clumps around the needles. When you rub your finger on it, ...
view the full question and answer

What is causing leaf drop on oak in Morgan Hill CA?
June 23, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants: We have a large, young Valley Oak (about 20 yrs) which is dropping leaves even now in early summer. I have a feeling that the problem might be an invasive weed that is flourishi...
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