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
1 rating

Tuesday - August 20, 2013

From: Topsail Island, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Planting, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Need suggestions for trees to withstand high winds on Top Sail Island, North Caroloina.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Moving to coastal southern North Carolina. Planting native trees and shrubs, wax bayberry, Redbud, love the River Birch. What type of tree has the deepest roots or would be least likely to blow over in a hurricane.

ANSWER:

It looks like you have some plants in mind, but let me introduce you to our Native Plant Database  where you can search for 7,663 plants native to North America by scientific or common name. Since you are looking for a list of plants that you might consider planting, the Combination Search option is a good place to begin.

Click on the link above; scroll down to the Combination Search Box and make the following selections: select North Carolina under state, shrub under Habit, and Perennial under Duration. Check Part shade under Light requirement, and Dry under Soil Moisture. Click on the Submit combination Search button, and you will get a list of 46 native plants meeting these criteria that grow in North Carolina. Clicking on the scientific name of each plant will bring up its NPIN page which contains a description of the plant, growth requirements and and characteristics as well as images. You can repeat the search, this time selecting tree under habit and get a list of  59 native trees to choose from. Changing your choices for light requirement and soil moisture will generate slightly different lists. You can have a lot of fun with this tool.
 
You’ll notice that “hurricane proof” is not one of the choices. The fact is that trees all over the country are blown over by high winds quite frequently. Some of the factors  involved include size (height and width) of the tree, its health, the soil type, and of course the strength of the wind.

I am going to include some links that deal with these issues.

    why tees blow over in a storm

    why trees blow over

    tree health from Univ. of Minnesota Extension

This link to the University of Florida deals with site evaluation and tree selection as well as maintenance issues to help prevent wind damage.

Another source of information and information would be the offices of NC Cooperative Extension in Onslow and Pender Counties.

 

More Planting Questions

Horseherb planting in Richardson, TX
October 18, 2014 - What is the best time to plant 4" pots of Horseherb?
view the full question and answer

Brown, dry leaves on weeping willow tree
May 01, 2008 - We live in central TX and have just planted a weeping willow tree. Our back yard has a retention pond and ravine that parallels our property and we were told that the weeping willow will do perfectly ...
view the full question and answer

Growing Evergreen sumac in clay soil of Texas
August 19, 2011 - I'm in need of a fast growing evergreen screening shrub/small tree. I'm considering the Evergreen Sumac but before I go further I need to know if this plant will thrive and remain evergreen in the D...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing Newly Planted Trees
February 07, 2016 - Back in November, I planted 20 trees on rocky, caliche slopes around my house outside of Utopia, Texas. The trees were 45 gallon Monterrey Oaks and Texas Redbuds. I have also installed a drip irriga...
view the full question and answer

Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
May 04, 2014 - I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
view the full question and answer

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