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?

Share

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
2 ratings

Saturday - November 06, 2010

From: Patchogue, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees native to Long Island, NY
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

My question is: What are the main trees that were native to Long Island before all other trees began to be brought into Long Island?

ANSWER:

I'm sure you have heard the saying, "Give a man a fish, you'll feed him for a day, teach a man to fish, you'll feed him for a lifetime".

I can't give you a list of trees to answer your question, but I can help you find the answer yourself. There are a few different sources for you to check.

At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center we define "native plants" as those that grow in a particular place without being introduce by man.  As you can imagine, at times it is hard to determine at the edge of a range whether a plant is occuring there as a result of nature or man.

If you visit our Native Plant Database and perform a Combination Search for "New York" selecting "trees" as the habit, it will generate a list of 180 trees that are considered native to New York.  Each plant name on the list is linked to a detailed information page about that plant. Most have a number of images of the plants as well.

Using the first plant on the list,  Abies balsamea (Balsam fir), you will notice the USDA symbol on the plant information page just under the plant names.  It is linked to the USDA database page for that plant. On that page you will find a map of North America and more information about the plant. To the left of the image is a notation titled Native Status.  In this case it says L48 (lower 48 states of the US), CAN (Canada) and SMP (St Pierre et Miquelon ... islands in the mouth of the St. Lawrence River that are still part of France).  The map of North America shows (in green) the states and provinces where the plant is present.

If you click on your state, it will show a county distribution map. From that map, you will have to draw your own conclusions as to whether or not a tree is present and native or present and introduced.

You can also perform a search on the USDA database website.  You will find the search feature at the top of the grey sidebar on the left of the homepage.  You will want to perform an Advanced Search selecting your county (New York: Suffolk?) under 1. Distribution and "tree" for growth habit and "L48 Native" for Native Status under 3. Ecology.  You can compare their list with ours.

I would also recommend contacting your County Agricultural Extension Office to see if they can offer advice and have included a couple of books in our Bibliography that might be helpful.

 

More Trees Questions

What fertlilizer for live oaks under drought conditions?
July 01, 2011 - In your June 7 answer about helping live oaks survive the drought, you state that additional fertilization may help as well. What kind of fertilizer to you recommend and how should it be applied? Th...
view the full question and answer

Foundation Landscape Tree Suggestion for New Jersey
March 05, 2013 - I need to replace a shrub (boxwood) in a landscaped area directly in front of my house. I would like a tree that grows about 10-15' maximum. However, I have a drainpipe that runs from the house to th...
view the full question and answer

Drought resistant flowering plants for Spring, TX
January 25, 2012 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants. I live in Spring Tx. and wanted to plant a garden in my front yard. I'm looking for flowering plants that are colorful, easy to manage, and drought resistant but so far can't fi...
view the full question and answer

Trees for clay soil from Charlotte TX
August 25, 2013 - We have an area in our yard that even Esperanzas won't grow. It is near another that does great. Six Esperanzas are planted in a north/south row about with 10' between plants, the southern most plan...
view the full question and answer

Can a fallen tree in Texas have pieces of it removed from Winona TX
October 20, 2012 - I was wondering if you could tell me if a tree has fallen down, is it legal for me to go and cut pieces off of it in the state of Texas. And if you happen not to know could you tell me who I would con...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center