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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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Thursday - January 06, 2011

From: Glenville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Tall Evergreens for Pennsylvania
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I want to plant tall evergreen trees that grow really tall in deep shade or that I can plant already fairly large and withstand the shock of planting in a mature state and live in deep shade. I thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants prefers recommending local native species; these can be reviewed by searching the “recommended species” list that can be found as one of the options on the Wildflower Center page.   You can also narrow the search by selecting State of Pennsylvania, “Tree” as the general appearance, and “Shade – 2 hours or less” as the light requirement.

 When I did this, I found lots of Evergreen options:   six members of the Pinaceae (Pine Family)Pinus resinosa (Norway pine) was mentioned as an ornamental and shade tree.   Picea rubens (Red spruce) was mentioned as an attractive ornamental and  Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) was recommended as "hardy as an ornamental" which might indicate the resilience and strength needed for transplantation.  About all we can do is suggest some options, as the field is quite open for evergreens that grow in the shade.  Below are images of likely candidates.

                             
Chamaecyparis thyoides
       Juniperus virginiana             Pinus echinata
White Cedar                          Red Cedar                             Shortleaf Pine

   A connected possibility you mentioned was to transplant a large specimen of your chosen tree.  Depending on what you call “large”, the expense and risk that you take to obtain a mature specimen of the tree likely justifies that planning and carrying out a transplanting may be an event that calls for the professionals!   The Wildflower Center has a list of suppliers that are similarly inclined.  There are quite a number in Pennsylvania, just launch a search for that state. I would expect that suppliers like Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery and American Native Nursery, that are 100%  native, and listed as landscape professionals, environmental consultants and as Wildflower Center Associates would be likely candidates to offer you some quality service.

 

 

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