En Español

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

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

More Trees Questions

Holes in leaves of wax myrtle from Austin
April 30, 2011 - I just purchased 4 of the 5 gallon Wax Myrtles at the last spring plant sale and after planting them, they are getting eaten by bugs leaving holes in the leaves. I can't find any of the bugs doing th...
view the full question and answer

Pros and cons of live oak leaves left on ground in Dripping Springs TX
February 20, 2013 - What are the pros or cons of leaving live oak leaves on the ground around trees or bushes?
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

Trees and other plants for privacy along lake shoreline
March 09, 2013 - We are purchasing a new home that has a 2 acre lake. We would like to add some plants/trees for privacy around the shore line. Can you suggest something that would fill in nicely and is strong enoug...
view the full question and answer

No acorns on mature live oak in Little Rock AR
April 18, 2010 - Why does my very large mature live oak have no acorns?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center