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

Monday - April 22, 2013

From: W. Gilgo Beach, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Lists, Drought Tolerant, Erosion Control, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for the harsh environment (wind, salt, cold winters). I have pines and cedars. looking for other ideas. I appreciate your help in advance.

ANSWER:

Ordinarily, the first place to go to find a list of potential plants is our Native Plant Database. Use the Combination Search feature instead of Recommended Species. This will provide a bigger selection with much more choice to narrow down. The volunteers and staff at the Wildflower Center who maintain the database have partners in different regions to help with these recommended species lists based on what is easy to access in local nurseries.

Under Combination Search, select the following categories: New York, Habit – shrubs or trees, Duration – perennial, Light requirement – sand, Soil moisture – dry. Since the native plant search turned up close to 100 plants and more specific criteria are needed (salt and wind tolerance, for example), another resource to look at is an online presentation, “Seaside Plants for Coastal Area of Long Island Part 1” by Caroline Kiang, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County from the Long Island Horticulture Conference held January 28th, 2011. Part 2 of this presentation can also be found online.

This presentation lists plants that have been selected for tolerance to salt spray, wind, sandy soil and appropriate winter hardiness.

Some of the native trees and shrubs that Caroline Kiang recommended that you might consider from this presentation are:

Prunus virginiana (chokecherry)

Prunus serotina (black cherry)

Amelanchier canadensis (Canadian serviceberry)

Baccharis halimifolia (groundseltree)

Morella pensylvanica (northern bayberry)

Prunus maritima (beach plum)

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac)

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac)

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (bearberry)

Hudsonia tomentosa (beach heath)

Juniperus horizontalis (creeping juniper)

Crataegus crus-galli (cockspur hawthorn)

Photinia pyrifolia (red chokeberry)

Photinia melanocarpa (black chokeberry)

Clethra alnifolia (coastal sweet pepperbush)

Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

Abies concolor (balsam fir)

Acer rubrum (red maple)

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud)

Nyssa sylvatica (blackgum)

 

From the Image Gallery


Chokecherry
Prunus virginiana

Black cherry
Prunus serotina

Saskatoon serviceberry
Amelanchier alnifolia

Groundseltree
Baccharis halimifolia

Winged sumac
Rhus copallinum

Staghorn sumac
Rhus typhina

Kinnikinnick
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Cockspur hawthorn
Crataegus crus-galli

Red chokeberry
Photinia pyrifolia

Black chokeberry
Photinia melanocarpa

Coastal sweet pepperbush
Clethra alnifolia

Balsam fir
Abies concolor

More Trees Questions

Problems with post oaks in Milam Co., TX
October 26, 2009 - I have an old ranch in Milam County, Texas on the Brazos River with several large, old Post Oaks. Recently a few of these grand old trees have lost large branches and two have died. One has died, poss...
view the full question and answer

Pruning guidance for Carolina buckthorn from Houston
October 23, 2012 - I have a Carolina Buckthorn in my back patio that I planted in fall 2001. The summer of 2003 the roofers dropped something off the back and broke the top 10-12 inches off. I have tried to train the la...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Sago palm roots damaging house foundation from Keystone Heights FL
July 03, 2013 - Will sago palms roots hurt a house's foundation if too close?
view the full question and answer

Pruning an oak tree in Missouri in February
February 09, 2009 - Can I prune an oak tree in Missouri in February?
view the full question and answer

Can a mustang grape and an oak coexist in Austin
November 04, 2009 - I have a healthy mustang grape vine growing on an oak in my yard. While the vine provides plenty of good food and a pleasant environment for many birds throughout the year, I feel it is overtaking the...
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