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

Friday - July 30, 2010

From: Peoria, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree for wet area in Central Illinois
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I live in Central Illinois. When it rains I get a lot of water in my backyard. What kind of tree would be best to plant in this wet area?


Here is a way you can do the research yourself.  Go to our Native Plant Database and do a COMBINATION SEARCH choosing 'Illinois' from the Select State or Province option, 'Tree' from Habit (general appearance) and 'Wet - soil is saturated with water' from Soil moisture.  This will give you more than 40 trees to choose from that meet those criteria. You can check the other GROWING CONDITIONS for each species to determine if they are also compatible with your site.

Here are few possibilities from that list:

Betula populifolia (gray birch)

Carya aquatica (water hickory) and here are photos and more information.

Acer rubrum var. drummondii (Drummond's maple)

Crataegus viridis (green hawthorn)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Ilex verticillata (common winterberry)

Nyssa aquatica (water tupelo)

Quercus nigra (water oak)

Quercus palustris (pin oak)

Here are photos from our Image Gallery:

Betula populifolia

Acer rubrum var. drummondii

Crataegus viridis

Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Ilex verticillata

Nyssa aquatica

Quercus nigra

Quercus palustris



More Trees Questions

Wilting of Mountain Ash in Wisconsin
August 21, 2008 - What type of disease would cause a Mountain Ash to entirely wilt? The bark on bottom of tree is opening up and is spongy feeling. No sign of any disease until last month and it quickly wilted with b...
view the full question and answer

Tall privacy hedge in Fort Worth, Texas
January 15, 2010 - I need a fast growing plant that reaches a height of 14 to 16 feet suitable as a privacy hedge. Prefer minimal maintenance and disease resistant. I have a 3 story condo being built behind my home in...
view the full question and answer

Shade Trees for Bullhead City, AZ
August 12, 2014 - We have a patio with 2 old (unused) fire pit cut-outs; about 4 ft wide each. The cut out is not lined with concrete or brick: just rimmed with the concrete on all sides. The center of the cut-outs i...
view the full question and answer

Relocating native oak trees in compacted soil
September 14, 2008 - Can you replant and relocate small oak trees in compacted soil and will they grow or go into shock?
view the full question and answer

Premature browning of bald cypress needles in summer
July 15, 2011 - I have several 10m high taxodium distichum trees in the lawn, with drip irrigation twice a week, and same soil content, and on just one of them, several leaves have started turning brown, it seems to ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center