Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Transplants Questions

Caring for Texas Buckeye in Buda TX
February 07, 2011 - I have a Texas Buckeye that is planted in a moderate amount of shade. It is growing very slowly, and only holds on to it's leaves from late March to August. It has been in the ground for about 4-5 ye...
view the full question and answer

Volunteer bluebonnets in Farmville VA
May 17, 2010 - I have two small Texas bluebonnet plants that came with no instructions as to how to plant them regarding soil or sun. Everything I read has to do with seeds, can you please help me? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Vacccinum corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
June 28, 2007 - Blueberry plants - We planted Northland and Blue Crop, 2 of each. All 4 plants have some leaves that are turning brown. This starts at the tip of the leaf, eventually encompasses the entire leaf, a...
view the full question and answer

Planting Texas Mountain Laurel to transplant to Dallas
August 29, 2012 - My daughter would like to incorporate a tree planting ceremony in her wedding in Texas. The seedling would be planted in a pot for a few years and later transplanted in a yard when they buy a home. Wo...
view the full question and answer

Soapberry tree problems in North Richland Hills, TX
September 01, 2010 - We have a small grove of soapberry trees. The city recently reconstructed the street and added a side walk which now sets as close at 1 foot from the nearest tree. Everything seemed fine until they ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.