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
Not Yet Rated

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.

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Propagating a new tree from a magnolia in Johnsburg IL
September 22, 2009 - My friend would like to reroot her magnolia tree in her front yard to bring it with her to Memphis. The tree is huge and easiest to reroot if possible. Does she trim branches to root, or dry the seeds...
view the full question and answer

Planting wildflower seeds in a drought in Grimes Co. TX
November 03, 2010 - I have a dilemma, shared by others I'm sure. My place, which is in Oakland prairie, has seen no real rainfall since sometime in August, and the soil (sand, loam, and blackland clays)is extremely dry....
view the full question and answer

Transplanting native yaupon into yard in Lowake TX
June 08, 2010 - I have lots of wild yaupon in my pasture,can I transplant it to the yard?
view the full question and answer

Trimming bloom stalks of iris
April 15, 2008 - Mr. Smarty: I live in Nevada, and have some very beautiful Iris plants. They have all blossomed and now I am left with stems. Is there any way I can cut them back so they blossom again? If so how shou...
view the full question and answer

Propagating a white cultivar of Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora
September 09, 2016 - I am trying to propagate a white cultivar of the Texas Mountain Laurel. I plan to use bee sticks and pollinate the plant. Are the plants self fruiting or do I need to find another white mountain laure...
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