En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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

Plants for a shady front border in Ohio
April 28, 2010 - My front flower bed faces the North. For the past 2 yrs. I lost 5-6 perennials. What can I plant that will make it with little sun. I don't want hostas nor ferns, nor short ground covers. I want col...
view the full question and answer

Native flowers and ground cover for damp, shady area in Wisconsin
May 11, 2006 - I would like to plant some flowers and ground cover in the front of my yard near my home. This spot is usually damp and nearly always shaded. Any suggestions? Also I'm looking for blue flowering pla...
view the full question and answer

Plants for shade in New Jersey
September 21, 2008 - hi ,i live in rahway nj and i was wondering what are good plant and shrubs to plant for this area. we are doing all new landscaping and we have alot of shade areas. we like the ornamental grasses but ...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for shady area in north Texas
July 29, 2013 - I'm looking for a ground cover for a mostly shady area where St. Augustine won't grow. I don't want the ground cover to overtake my established St. Augustine in the rest of the yard. The area is un...
view the full question and answer

Finding a source of Straggler daisy
October 14, 2015 - I've decided on Straggler daisy but am having trouble finding it. It would be perfect for me. Do I have to wait until next Spring for it to show up? Can it be ordered through a nursery or a landscape...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center