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?


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

Wednesday - May 12, 2010

From: Branchburg, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: A non-native Japanese Maple for Branchburg NJ
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I am landscaping around my house and am looking for a tree that wont eventually grow too large. I thought maybe a bloodgood Japanese maple. Any suggestions would help


Acer palmatum, Japanese maple, is non-native to North America, and therefore does not appear in our Native Plant Database. However, here is an article from Paghat's Garden on Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood,' that has some information you can use.

Since we would prefer you plant trees native not only to North America but to the area in Somerset County in central New Jersey, we will look in our database for trees suitable to USDA Hardiness Zone 6b that will not grow too large.

Small Trees Native to  Somerset County, NJ:

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry) - 4 to 20 ft. tall, blooms white April and May, sun, part shade or shade

Betula populifolia (gray birch) - 35 to 50 ft., sun, part shade or shade

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) - 15 to 30 ft., part shade or shade

Ilex opaca (American holly) - 25 ft., evergreen, sun, part shade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Amelanchier canadensis

Betula populifolia

Cercis canadensis

Ilex opaca




More Non-Natives Questions

Obtaining bark of Larix laricina from Hyderabad India
January 26, 2012 - I am in need of Larix laricina (Bark) for my research work. Please let me know how to procure it.
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native indoor palm in Guilford CT
April 08, 2012 - My question is I have an indoor palm plant that I have had for 7 yrs. It has grown from about a 5" plant to about 3' tall plant. The past few weeks the leaves are turning yellow & brown and lost abo...
view the full question and answer

Green Pearls or String-of-Pearls plant
August 13, 2015 - Years ago I had a plant I called green pearls because that's what it looked like. It was an inside plant. Can you please help me with this? Thank you
view the full question and answer

Non-native gardenias in Southampton Ontario
July 31, 2012 - I purchased 3 gardenias this year for the garden. Now I'm told that I can't leave them out all year round here in mid/western Ontario. Is this true, and if so, how do I keep them over the winter i...
view the full question and answer

Magnolia and non-native weeping willow competing in Annapolis
October 19, 2010 - We planted a sweetbay magnolia next to a Weeping Willow in our yard and did not anticipate the willow would grow so quickly and into the magnolia. We have had the magnolia now for 3 years, and it is c...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center