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?


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

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

Repotting non-native Agave ghiesbreghtii from Spring TX
June 03, 2012 - I've recently purchased an Agave ghiesbreghtii, and will need to re-pot it soon. I have some cactus soil mix as well as a few rocks to put in the bottom of its new pot. There seem to be roots comi...
view the full question and answer

Identification of yellow fruit with many fingers
December 24, 2012 - This is a yellow lemon smelling fruit with many fingers. Yellow in color. Looks like an octopus.
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Growing Giant Pumpkins in Georgia
April 15, 2013 - I have tried to grow giant pumpkins in the Atlanta, GA area. Each year I lose several strong plants to vine borers. I have tried tin foil wrapped around the stems, and I even painted the stems with Se...
view the full question and answer

Non-native astilbe resemblance to non-native poisonous castor bean from Tomslake BC
May 21, 2014 - I have a plant that looks like a castor bean but it has flowers like a Younique Silvery Pink Astilbe. Need to id because castor bean is poisonous. This plant grows up to 5 feet in height. Thank you !
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center