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

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

Bald cypress
Taxodium distichum

More Trees Questions

Oak saplings in Boerne TX
August 02, 2010 - Is there anything I can do to kill the oak tree saplings that come up around my oak tree? I have a nice raised flower bed around the tree and now it's full of these saplings. Thanks for your help...
view the full question and answer

Pruning technique for Anacacho Orchid from Austin
May 18, 2011 - I have an Anacacho Orchid tree that is about 8 ft tall and still young. It is doing quite well. I have never pruned it, but lately I have been considering it as some of the top branches are starting t...
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for Buckeye AZ
May 16, 2010 - I am moving to Buckeye Az from Utah and would like to know what type of fruit trees I can grow. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Smoketree not flowering in Beverly Hills CA
June 29, 2011 - Why is my Smoke tree not flowering? It is big and the leaves are beautiful but no blooms.
view the full question and answer

Potential allelopathy of cultivar of Artemisia ludoviciana
March 09, 2009 - I recently submitted a question regarding allelopathic potential of artemisia ludoviciana on rusty blackhaw viburnum, not specifying that I meant Vibernum rufidulum. Mr. SP interpreted my viburnum as...
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.