Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Saturday - July 06, 2013

From: Millington, NJ
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast-growing medium-sized tree for New Jersey
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'm looking for trees to put on a slight slope that will do well in rocky clay soil. I 'm in N.J. zone 6. The spot is full sun and would like a fast grower 50 ft high maximum. I'm replacing white pines we took down.Sandy dropped one on the roof. Thanks

ANSWER:

In our New Jersey Recommended list of commercially available native species for landscaping in the state I found the following trees that were about the size you want and all will grow in clay soils.  You should look through the New Jersey Recommended list yourself to see if you see any other trees that interest you.   You can use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the lists to trees by picking "Tree" in the General Appearance slot.

Betula populifolia (Gray birch) is a fast grower and grows to a maximum of 50 feet.  Unfortunately, its fast growth also means it is short-lived.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Carpinus caroliniana (American hornbeam) grows 35 to 50 feet high.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden which reports it as slow-growing.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud) has a fast to moderate growth rate and generally grows to 15 feet, but can grow as tall as 30 feet.   It has beautiful blossoms in the spring.  Here is more information from North Carolina State University and Ohio State University.

Nyssa sylvatica (Blackgum) grows 30 to 60 feet high and will grow in clay soil but it is slow growing.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Prunus virginiana (Chokecherry) grpws 20-30 feet and will grow in clay soil.  Sagebud describes its growth rate as rapid.

Asimina triloba (Pawpaw) grows 10 to 40 feet and will grow in clay soil.  Here's more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.  It has a medium growth rate according to the University of Connecticul Horticulture.

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (Green ash) grows 50 to 75 feet and will grow in clay soils.  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.  It has a fast growth rate according to the University of Connecticut Horticulture.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gray birch
Betula populifolia

American hornbeam
Carpinus caroliniana

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis var. canadensis

Blackgum
Nyssa sylvatica

Chokecherry
Prunus virginiana

Pawpaw
Asimina triloba

Green ash
Fraxinus pennsylvanica

More Trees Questions

Lopidea texana nymphs and adults feeding on Mountain Laurel in March
April 04, 2006 - What is the species name of the bright red bug (Miridae) nymphs and adults that are feeding on Texas Mountain Laurel leaves at this time (March 24) at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

Problems with water oaks from Laurel MS
October 05, 2013 - The leaves on my mature water oak trees have been falling since the leaves matured. My area has had an abundance of rain this year, 11 inches above normal. All the trees in my area are doing the same....
view the full question and answer

Red maple with burnt leaves in Buda TX
October 27, 2009 - I planted a red maple last fall. Planted in full sun here in Buda Texas. The leaves are yellowing and then they dry out completely almost looks burnt. Problem starts in middle of leaf and then works i...
view the full question and answer

Repair of broken branch stump on pecan tree
July 18, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, big fan. Recently one of my pecan trees had a large branch break off, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. The strange part was there was no clear sign of what caused the damage, i...
view the full question and answer

Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.