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

Cause of trees losing bark in Arkansas
December 27, 2011 - I live in very rural Arkansas and we did have extreme heat this past summer and since then I have noticed several trees in the woods that have lost huge strips of their bark and I was wondering if it ...
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Growing non-native avocado outside from Austin
December 27, 2012 - My son has a very large avocado tree that he rooted from a pit that is currently growing in a large container. However, it has gotten too big to winter inside. Can it be planted in the ground in Aust...
view the full question and answer

Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI
April 30, 2012 - I have a mountain ash that is about 5 years old & have just noticed white, patchy, scaly looking spots on the bark. Is this something to be concerned about???
view the full question and answer

Small tree to plant with high bush blueberry plants
May 13, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have four wonderful new highbush blueberry plants. I like to plant a native tree nearby to accent them, but cannot find a suitable one. I'd like a tree that is not going ...
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