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

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

Container plants for Arlington TX
February 10, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I just moved to Arlington, TX. I am trying to create a container garden on my apartment balcony. What flowers, herbs, vegetables, and fruit combinations can I put together that wil...
view the full question and answer

Native grasses or sedges for a border in Texas
August 12, 2011 - I am in the process of gradually replacing some of my landscaping in Dallas Texas with native Texas plants. Your website has been very helpful. I now wish to replace a liriope border, which has cro...
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

Leaves turning brown on geum in Mountlake Terrace WA
July 12, 2010 - Assuming a geum is North American . . . mine are turning brown unlike any time before. They get watered occasionally and then dry out. Is there something special I should be doing for geums? They get ...
view the full question and answer

Grass for dense shade in Simpsonville SC
May 12, 2010 - We live in Simpsonville, SC. Our back yard leads back into very dense woods. It is extremely shady, virtually no direct sun for any length of time. We have a hard time growing grass here. What type of...
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