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Thursday - October 08, 2009

From: Aspers, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shade Tolerant
Title: Need a recommendation for a fast growing shade tree near Gettysburg PA
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I am looking to plant a fast growing shade tree with non-invasive roots. I live in south central Pennsylvania just north of Gettysburg PA.


Since we know nothing about the specific site where you wish to plant your new tree, it is difficult to make a recommendation  of a particular tree. However, there is a feature of our web site that will allow you to select your new shade tree: the Recommended Species Page.

Clicking on your state will produce a list of 135 commercially available plants that are suitable for planned landscapes in Pennsylvvania. Go to the Narrow Your Search column on the right side of the page and make these selections; choose PA for the state, tree for General Appearance, perennial for Lifespan, check Sun for Light Requirement, and dry for Soil Moisture (you can change this as appropriate). Click the Narrow Your Search button and your list is reduced to 23 trees. Clicking on the name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page that has a description of the plant, informaton about its growth characteristics and requirements, along with images. Your task is to find a tree whose growth reqirements match the conditions on your site.

Here are four trees from the list that have medium to rapid growth rate, and show native distribution in Adams County.

Fraxinus americana (white ash)

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak)

Liriodendron tulipifera (tuliptree)

Quercus coccinea (scarlet oak)

I'm also including two web sites that can answer your questions regarding invasive roots: 

Fairfax County Virginia  and Colorado State University Extension

 Once you have made a selection visit our Suppliers Directory to locate businesses that sell native plants or seeds or provide professional landscape or consulting services in Pennsylvania.

Another source of help closer to home is the Penn State Cooperative Extension Office in Adams County.


Fraxinus americana

Quercus macrocarpa

Liriodendron tulipifera

Quercus coccinea






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