En Español

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

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!

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

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree for Johnson City TN
September 10, 2009 - I live in E. Tennessee and was wondering if there are any pecan trees that can be grown here? If so, which type? I am a native Texan and love pecans. I would appreciate any information you can give ...
view the full question and answer

Texas fan ash draining sap in Selma TX
May 14, 2010 - I have a 3-year-old Texas Fan Ash tree that has recently begun to drain sap. Should I be concerned? If yes, what can I do to save the tree? Thank You!!
view the full question and answer

Grafting to a cherry laurel for edible fruit in Austin
July 01, 2010 - I was the one who asked earlier about grafting to a Cherry Laurel. I will happily graft a local plum on it, say a Mexican Plum or American Plum or one of the naturalized peaches (a friend has an India...
view the full question and answer

Black coloration on Star Magnolia is probably sooty mold.
November 21, 2008 - I have a star magnolia where 90% of the bark has turned black. It almost looks burned. The tree has decent buds set for next spring. What is causing the bark to turn black?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center