En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Shade tree for cemetery in Wilmington DE

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

Sunday - September 13, 2009

From: Wilmingfton, DE
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Shade tree for cemetery in Wilmington DE
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We are looking for a shade tree for a cemetery in Delaware. The tree will be planted only a few feet from some existing gravesites. What trees would you recommend that will not interfere with the gravesites?

ANSWER:

"Shade tree" infers a large, spreading tree, but what you don't see is that the roots of that tree will spread to possibly three times the diameter of the top of the tree. When you look at a mature tree and see its "dripline" or where the shadow of the tree falls, envision roots going on three times that diameter. There are several types of trees that begin with a taproot, but develop surface roots, where most of the nutrients and moisture are as the tree matures. The majority of tree roots are in the top 12" of the soil and, in their quest for space, will often form a mat of roots close to the surface. When you are planning a new property, you can allow for the mature size of the tree, and place structures accordingly. But when you have a fixed area in which those trees can be planted, your best (perhaps your only) choice is for a smaller ornamental tree. We are going to go to our Recommended Species section, and search for trees native not only to Delaware, but to New Castle Co. Since you did not say what the soil, moisture availability or amount of sun you have, we will select several different trees you might consider. Follow the plant links to the webpage on each individual tree, read its expected size and needs to flourish. From that, you can make your own choices, or go back to the Recommended Species and select other trees that suit your purposes better. In Delaware, this is probably the time to be planting, before cold weather sets in, or you could wait for Spring. In either case, arrangements should be made for the trees to be regularly watered until they are established, unless there are consistent rains.

Trees native to Delaware for a cemetery

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Diospyros virginiana (common persimmon)

Ilex opaca (American holly)

Prunus americana (American plum)

Sassafras albidum (sassafras)

From the Native Plant Image Gallery


Carpinus caroliniana

Cercis canadensis

Chionanthus virginicus

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Diospyros virginiana

Ilex opaca

Prunus americana

Sassafras albidum

 

 

 

 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Butterfly garden plants for partial shade in Georgia
August 14, 2009 - I have a patio that is brick with 2 small areas for planting. The area has partial shade and soil is moist and looks dense. Currently there is an Ivy Bush in the back left corner which I like and ha...
view the full question and answer

Texas native shade plants for metal troughs in Austin
December 22, 2012 - Interested in finding Texas natives that would do well in metal troughs in the shade.
view the full question and answer

Small shrub for shady area
March 06, 2010 - I would like to find a shrub to plant on the north, northeast side of my house, but it will be in mostly shade. It needs to get between 21/2' to 4' tall. Do you have any suggestions please?
view the full question and answer

Deer resistant plants for large pot in light shade in Austin
March 30, 2007 - For an Austin yard, please suggest a shrub or a mixture of plants for a 15 gallon clay pot. The area has dappled light and deer. I would prefer a deciduous plant if possible.
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady site in Tyler TX
February 24, 2009 - I live in Tyler Texas and have a lot of shade and sandy soil. No grass will grow and I was wondering if I should look at ground cover instead? If so, what grows in shade and sand? I have tried sever...
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