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
1 rating

Friday - January 07, 2011

From: Ashford, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Windthrow Resistant Trees for Northeast Connecticut
Answered by: Mike Tomme

QUESTION:

We live in northeast CT, and prefer to plant native trees. Many people here do not want trees around their homes, despite the benefits of shade and shelter they provide, because they are afraid of windthrow damaging their homes. Which native trees are least likely to be vulnerable to being blown over? We have several high water table soils, but most are dry glacial till.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants worked a crossword puzzle recently where one of the clues read, "Strong as an _ _ _." Let's see, "ox?" Nope, not enough letters. "Acre of garlic?" Nope, too many letters. Wait, I've got it - Quercus.

No type of tree is going to be completely immune to windthrow, but the oaks did not come by their reputation for strength by accident. If any tree is going to stand up to a high wind, my money is on an oak.

Here are nine species of oak pulled from the native plant database which the USDA identifies as native to Windham county in northeast Connecticut:

Quercus alba (White oak)

Quercus bicolor (Swamp white oak)

Quercus coccinea (Scarlet oak)

Quercus ilicifolia (Bear oak)

Quercus palustris (Pin oak)

Quercus rubra (Northern red oak)

Quercus rubra var. ambigua (Northern red oak)

Quercus velutina (Black oak)

From this list, you can go into the database (click on Plant Database in the upper right hand corner of this page) and look up each plant. You can then make your selection(s) based on your taste and the specific conditions of your site.

Here are a couple of pictures from the species listed above. These pictures are not intended to recommend these species, they're just pretty.


Quercus alba


Quercus rubra

 

 

More Trees Questions

Madrone too close to house in Oregon
February 02, 2009 - I have a small Madrone tree (8ft tall) located approximatly 15 feet from my house, with a basement. Should I remove it? ie will it damage the foundation and is the tree strong enough that it will no...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
July 06, 2011 - Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
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

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
May 04, 2014 - I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center