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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.

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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.

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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!

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Saturday - May 29, 2010

From: Shirley, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Need a tree to grow on the south shore of Long Island, NY
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I live on the south shore of Long Island NY. My property is directly on Great South Bay and consists of sandy soil and beach grasses. I am wondering what trees would do well in this type of environment.

ANSWER:

Since you didn't mention the size or type of tree you are interested in, Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering what kinds of trees are currently growing along the shore. This could be a clue to what you might reasonably expect to grow in your yard.

Another approach is for you to do a combination search of our Native Plant Database. Go to the Native Plant Database page and scroll down to the Combination Search Box. Make the following selections; select New York under STATE, Tree under HABIT, and Perennial under DURATION. Check Sun under Light Requireent, Dry under soil moisture, and click the Submit Combination Search button. You should get a list of 49 species of native plants that meet these criteria and occur on Long Island. Clicking on the name of each plant species will pull up its NPIN page which contains a description, growth requirements, and images.

This is a list that I compiled based mostly on preferred soil types and the plant's occurence on Long Island. You can come up with a better list since you are more familiar with the local conditions. 

Amelanchier laevis (Allegheny serviceberry)    (Images)

Betula populifolia (gray birch)      

Juniperus virginiana (eastern redcedar)     

Pinus banksiana (jack pine)     (Images)

Pinus rigida (pitch pine)     (Images

Prunus pensylvanica (pin cherry)      (Images)

For some help closer to home, you might contact the folks at the Suffolk County Office of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service.


Betula populifolia

Juniperus virginiana


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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