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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - October 12, 2009

From: Sapulpa, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native alternative for Japanese Red Maple in Oklahoma
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my being overgrown and too large. We thought the Japanese Red Maple would be nice, because it is a smaller and more contained tree, but I do not want to introduce a non-native plant. PLEASE HELP!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants can offer several attractive small native trees for Oklahoma as an alternative to Japanese maple.  Here are a few of them:

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Morus rubra (red mulberry)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database to see other possibilities by choosing Oklahoma from the Select State or Province category and 'Tree' from the Habit (general appearance) category.


Cotinus obovatus

Rhus lanceolata

Cercis canadensis

Chionanthus virginicus

Cornus drummondii

Cornus florida

Morus rubra

Prunus mexicana

Viburnum rufidulum
 

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