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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - April 24, 2012

From: Yankton, SD
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Lists, Trees
Title: Tree for South Dakota
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Sir, I am looking for suggestions on a backyard tree, nice shade tree 60-80' height to complement a split foyer house and a flowering crab that is currently there. Low maintenance, with no seeds or clean up. Wouldn't mind color, doesn't need to be dense (kitchen window looks out) would like the canopy of the tree higher the view is into a park. Thank you

ANSWER:

Since you have such specific characteristics in mind, I'm going to suggest that you do your own search in our Native Plant Database using the COMBINATION SEARCH feature and selecting "South Dakota" from the Select State or Province box, "Tree" from the Habit (general appearance), and "72-100 feet" under Size Characteristics.   I won't guarantee you can find a tree that doesn't leave you some sort of deposits (seeds, autumn leaves, etc.) underneath it, but most of the things that fall from trees are going to decompose rather quickly if you leave them be.  When I did this search (above) I got 12 results.

Here are a few possibilities from that list:

Betula papyrifera (Paper birch)

Gymnocladus dioicus (Kentucky coffeetree)

Tilia americana (American basswood)

Ulmus americana (American elm)

If you lowered the maximum height requirements, there would be more potential choices.

 

From the Image Gallery


Paper birch
Betula papyrifera

Kentucky coffeetree
Gymnocladus dioicus

American basswood
Tilia americana

American elm
Ulmus americana

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