En EspaŅol

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
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

Wednesday - March 14, 2012

From: Wichita, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Hardy Tree for Kansas
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I'm hoping to find a tree that is hardy and will survive all rough seasons in Wichita, KS. The spot is in front of a northern exposure window.

ANSWER:

I would think you have your best chance of a locally hardy tree by considering the native trees that have adapted to thrive in your area.

My way of going about a recommendation is to use the Recommended Species list for Kansas – Then narrow the search for partial shade [in front of a northern exposure window].  That gave me 19 candidates and I would encourage you to examine them yourself to see if any of them fit your fancy!

Just to cut down the list a bit more, I reviewed these candidates for just how far North into Canada they have been noted to grow. You can do that by looking at the USDA distribution maps on the link to their database. I would think that a tree that thrives in Alberta would be a great candidate for an exposed position in Kansas!  We all say there's only a couple strands of barbed wire between us and the Arctic, but those trees thrive.

So – Here is my list of “winners” for extended range to the North:

The widest range(most hardy)had populations in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba in Central Canada.  These were Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash) and Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak)

Nearly as well distributed were Prunus americana (American plum) [Saskatchewan & Manitoba], Acer saccharinum (Silver maple) in Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec and Celtis occidentalis (Common hackberry) in Manitoba and Quebec,

These trees are probably as hardy as you’ll find them.  Don’t forget to pamper them a bit when young and your choice will survive well for the long term!

 

From the Image Gallery


Green ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Green ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica

Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

Silver maple
Acer saccharinum

Common hackberry
Celtis occidentalis

More Trees Questions

Pecan tree transplant in Elgin, TX
August 26, 2008 - Hello, Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a question about how to encourage a very young pecan sapling to grow, and whether I should use mulch to do so. I live in Elgin (Bastrop County) and the soil is extr...
view the full question and answer

Tree with tap root for small area near Dallas
September 07, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Coppell, TX (a suburb of Dallas) & am looking for a tree to plant near our pool to provide some shade. The current tree (a silver leaf maple) is dying. My husband thi...
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

Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012 - I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Chestnut Oak in Waukesha WI
September 13, 2009 - Bought and had nursery install a 4" diameter, 16' tall chestnut oak. Watered it as instructed-every 2nd or third day-hose stream size of my pinky for 45-60 minutes. It was planted in July. Just l...
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