En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Need to replace a Silver Maple in Illinois.

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
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

Sunday - July 10, 2011

From: Elmhurst, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need to replace a Silver Maple in Illinois.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My father recently had a tornado take out a 50 year old silver maple. He is looking to replace it, but he is looking for something with interesting summer color; as he put it not "green." I am trying to encourage him to find something native before he gravitates towards a Japanese maple, do you have any suggestions? He is in Northeast Illinois, full sun, moist soil.

ANSWER:

Well, here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are all about encouraging the use of native plants. To that end, let me introduce you to our Native Plant Database  that can help with finding plants for particular situations. One way of using the Database is to scroll down to the Combination Search Box and make the following selections: Select Illinois under State, Tree under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Sun under Light requirement, Moist under Soil moisture, and then click the Submit combination search Button. This will bring up a list of 92 native species that are suitable for landscapes in Illinois. As you go through the list, clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the characteristics of the tree, its growth requirements, and photos. With this information, he can select plants that are suitable for his location. Using our Suppliers Directory can help locate businesses that sell the plants that he has selected.

Now admittedly, most of these trees have green leaves in the Summer, but if your father can hold out until the Fall, some of these trees make a spectacular showing.

 

From the Image Gallery


Red maple
Acer rubrum

Sugar maple
Acer saccharum

White ash
Fraxinus americana

Blackgum
Nyssa sylvatica

Pin oak
Quercus palustris

Sassafras
Sassafras albidum

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

More Trees Questions

Native Christmas tree from Smithville TX
December 16, 2012 - I've always wanted to use a native tree as a Christmas tree. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Need help with a Pecan tree that has been topped in Austin, TX.
July 06, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a pecan tree on my property that was topped by the previous owners. I have searched high and low for information on how to correctly prune a tree that has already been ...
view the full question and answer

Need a shade tree for an enclosed courtyard in Las Cruces, NM
September 24, 2012 - I HAVE A WEST FACING COURTYARD ENCLOSED WITH A 6' STUCCO WALL AND I WANT TO ADD A SHADE TREE. CURRENTLY HAVE SEVERAL MESQUITE TREES, DESERT WILLOW, CHINESE PISTACHE & VITEX TREES IN THE FRONT AREA ...
view the full question and answer

Flowering Dogwood for NY
February 21, 2011 - Hello - can you advise me on a disease-resistant/hardy dogwood? Every nursery I've visited has discouraged me from planting dogwoods. What would you recommend? I live in Westchester County, NY
view the full question and answer

What clips green twigs from cedar elms?
August 09, 2013 - Many small cuttings (3-5 inches long) are dropping from large cedar elm. To my eye the ends look like breaks (not chiseled), but I can't imagine what would cause so many breaks, and so think somethin...
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.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center