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?

Share

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 - May 08, 2009

From: Ogden, UT
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Will a non-native smoke tree, Cotinus coggygria, be harmful in Utah
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Can one plant a smoke tree in Utah without causing and harm to the environment? I'm worried that this plant may be a species that could cause a problem since I believe it is not a native plant.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants supposes you are talking about Cotinus coggygria (common smoketree), which is native to Eurasia, and not Psorothamnus spinosus (smoketree), which is native to the Sonoran Desert in your neighbor states of California, Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico; or Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree), native to Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas.  Since what we're all about here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is "to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes", we wouldn't recommend planting a non-native tree.  However, the Eurasian smoketree (C. coggygria) doesn't appear on any invasive lists as far as I have been able to find and probably doesn't pose a real threat to the environment.  The American smoketree (C. obovatus) isn't native to Utah, but it is native to the US as far west as eastern Texas.  It will grow in USDA Hardiness Zones 4-8 and might do fine in Ogden, but we wouldn't even recommend planting a native tree so far out of its native range.  Your best bet for a successful tree is one that is native to your area.  Here are a few of similar size to the Eurasian smoketree that occur in or adjacent to Weber County, Utah.

Amelanchier utahensis (Utah serviceberry)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (redosier dogwood)

Maclura pomifera (osage orange)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Ptelea trifoliata (common hoptree)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Sambucus racemosa (red elderberry)


Amelanchier utahensis

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea

Maclura pomifera

Prunus americana

Ptelea trifoliata

Rhus typhina

Sambucus racemosa

 

 

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Flying insects eating leaves of non-native Brugmansia in Aline CA
October 17, 2013 - I have an Angel Trumpet tree. We live in Aline, California 30 miles east of San Diego. Little yellow and black flying bugs eat the leaves. Do you have a remedy for this problem.
view the full question and answer

Winter-hardiness of hibiscus in Idaho
June 14, 2009 - I bought a hibiscus tree at Sam's Club in Idaho Falls and after planting it, I read the label which says not to go below 50 degrees. Does that mean it is an inside or potted tree to bring in in the ...
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Problems getting desert western US plant Stanleya pinnata to bloom in England
March 13, 2006 - I am having trouble getting my Princes plume (Stanleya pinnata) to produce a flower and then go to seed. Do you have any advice on triggering flowering in this plant?
view the full question and answer

Male or female Jatropha curcas from Brownsville TX
August 16, 2012 - How do know the sex of a young Jatropha C. plant? how many weeks before you can tell a boy/girl plant ?
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