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

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

QUESTION:

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.

ANSWER:

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

 

 

 


 

 

More Shade Tolerant Questions

Tough grasses for shade
November 24, 2010 - What kind of grass/groundcover can I put in our backyard that is shady/dry and has 50 lb. high energy dog traffic? Was considering Horse Herb but not sure, as it sounds like you can't get rid of it,...
view the full question and answer

Shade tolerant Wildflowers for Oklahoma City
April 16, 2012 - I live in Oklahoma City. I'm not in town very often, and am seeking low maintenance plants. I have MANY trees in my backyard, which makes it quite shady. I have raised beds amongst my rock garden ...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing shade tree for Central Texas
July 04, 2009 - What is the best fastest growing shade tree for central Texas? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade
August 19, 2008 - I live in hot, humid Houston and the tree coverage of my yard is nearly 100 percent (so, little sunlight reaches the ground). Can you suggest a plant or two that would thrive in these conditions?
view the full question and answer

What will grow under neighbor's overhanging tree in Grosse Pointe Woods MI
May 29, 2011 - My next door neighbor has a beautiful tree that is easily 60 years old and thus not going anywhere. Unfortunately, for me the roots of this tree have extended under a large corner of my back yard. Add...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center