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

Sunday - April 23, 2006

From: Davis, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Native, non-invasive plants for Canaan Valley, WV
Answered by: Dean Garrett

QUESTION:

I recently purchased a home on an acre of land in the middle of Canaan Valley, WV. The front yard is flat and sunny, the back is on a ridge and is a little forest with a creek at the bottom. The trees in the back are mostly oak and maple trees. The front yard has two apple trees (don't know what kind.) I'd like to plant more fruit trees in the front, along with wildflowers, and would like to plant flowering bushes and other evergreen bushes around the house. I know the ecosystem in this area is especially fragile and unique, and would like to stick to native plants, or at least avoid any invasive-damaging non-natives. What do you recommend?

ANSWER:

What a beautiful area to live in!

Because the Canaan Valley is so singular, I'm going to first suggest you contact the West Virginia Native Plant Society and the Eastern Panhandle Native Plant Society for information about local native plants to use. They might also be able to tell you where to obtain and how to propagate desirable plants. You might also visit the Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge and regional Nature Conservancy sites to get ideas about what you'd like to plant at your home.

If you'd like to supplement your cultivated fruit trees with native fruit trees, you might try Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) or a native plum.

Flowering shrubs native to your region include Rosebay Rhododendron (Rhododendron maximum), Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia), Early Azalea (Rhododendron priophyllum), and Flame Azalea (Rhododendron calendulaceum).

For additional ideas, have a look at our Regional Fact Pack for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

Our National Suppliers' Directory can help you locate specimens for purchase.

 

From the Image Gallery


Common persimmon
Diospyros virginiana

American plum
Prunus americana

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Mountain laurel
Kalmia latifolia

Early azalea
Rhododendron prinophyllum

Flame azalea
Rhododendron calendulaceum

More Trees Questions

Transplanting a native Texas Persimmon in Austin
October 18, 2008 - I have a Texas Persimmon, approx. 2.5 feet tall, growing in a 5 gal. pot. When should it be transplanted and where? How much sun? Could it grow in a larger pot for a time> Do deer like it? Thank ...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing tree for pasture in Coolidge, Texas
August 03, 2009 - Hello, we purchased some land around Coolidge Tx., it has NO trees on it. This is open pasture land, can you suggest a fairly fast growing tree for shade? And if you know can you give us some names ...
view the full question and answer

Bugs on Arizona Cypress in Bellwood IL
August 27, 2011 - I live in Illinois and have an Arizona Cypress that looks like it is dying but I notice today it has bugs inside its cone. Can you tell me why and what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Distance from wall to plant Eastern red cedar
September 26, 2008 - I want to plant a row of Eastern red cedar on the high side of a 2 to 2 1/2 ft large Pavestone block retaining wall, preferably as close to the wall as possible. We have put maybe 4-5" of gravel beh...
view the full question and answer

The perfect tree for San Rafael CA
November 10, 2009 - Want to plant a tree that is slow growing and has shallow root system that won't lift the concrete, that does not shed, and is green throughout the year.
view the full question and answer

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