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
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 Trees Questions

Trees Planted Over Underground Parking Garage
July 13, 2014 - I live in an apartment complex. We have trees planted over an underground parking lot. I know the names of all the trees and I want to know how much soil they should be planted in to NOT cause damage ...
view the full question and answer

Runaway growth on mountain laurel in Coolidge AZ
July 01, 2010 - I have 2 mountain laurels. They are thriving well. In fact one is growing way too fast. I am growing it as a tree, but the branches are in excess of 6 feet, while the trunk is only 18 or so inches. I ...
view the full question and answer

Trimming oaks and elms from New Braunfels TX
June 20, 2012 - I would like to trim my live oaks and elm trees at the same time, if possible. I think they are American Elms. When is the best time to do this and avoid oak wilt and Dutch elm disease? Should all c...
view the full question and answer

Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
August 05, 2009 - Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree...
view the full question and answer

Failure to bud out of Shumard oaks in Floresville TX
April 16, 2010 - Question: I have a Shumard red oak (9-10ft tall) that I planted last October as its leaves were turning a brilliant red color. However, it's the only tree that did not bud this spring. I scraped t...
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