Explore Plants

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
    
 

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
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 Dakota vervain (Glandularia binpinnatifida)
August 07, 2008 - Dakota Vervain. We recently moved into a new house in Henly--Hays/Blanco county line. Mother nature was kind enough to provide us w/Dakota Vervain in some of our planting beds while we are getting...
view the full question and answer

Source of dollarweed for shady lawn in Hillsboro TX
December 19, 2011 - I live in Hillsboro,Tx - Where can I get Dollar Weed for my shady lawn?
view the full question and answer

Air layering with Spanish moss from Dunnellon FL
July 28, 2011 - Is it possible to air layer plant cuttings using Spanish Moss instead of Sphagum Moss? I have a yard full! Thanks
view the full question and answer

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Identifying gender of persimmon trees
October 23, 2006 - How can you tell the difference between a male persimmon tree and a female persimmon tree? Also do you need both to bear the fruit? I live in Louisiana and never heard of this before. Thanks.
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.