Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - August 10, 2014

From: Vienna, WV
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs, Trees
Title: Moderate-sized trees for lawn in West Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I recently had a landscape design completed by a professional lanscape company. The landscape is sloping down in front of my house. At the corner they included a Sweet Bay Magnolia, which we like very much. On one side of the Magnolia, where the land is level, they included three (3) Cherry Laurel's. I don't think that would be the correct plant for the location and have asked them to come up with some other alternatives. The side of the house in that location is tall (two stories), but I don't want to have something that grows very tall and would like something with low maintenance. Any suggestions?

ANSWER:

To find suggestions for you I went to our Special Collections page and chose West Virginia Recommended from RECOMMENDED SPECIES BY STATE and then used the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to select  "6-12" and "12 to 36" from HEIGHT (IN FEET).   Since I don't know the details of your site (soil, amount of sunlight, available moisture), you should read the requirements under GROWING CONDITIONS for each of the species.

Hamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel)  Here is more information from Floridata.

Lindera benzoin (Northern spicebush)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

Euonymus americanus (American strawberry-bush)  Here is more information from Master Gardeners of Northern Virginia and North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Rhododendron maximum (Great laurel)  Here is more information from North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Cercis canadensis (Eastern redbud)  Here is more information from US Forest Service and US Dept. of Agriculture.

Cornus alternifolia (Alternateleaf dogwood)  Here is more information from Virginia Tech and from University of Illinois Extension.

Viburnum prunifolium (Blackhaw)  Here is more information from Missouri Botanical Garden.

You can find more possibilities by doing the search described above for yourself.

 

From the Image Gallery


Witch-hazel
Hamamelis virginiana

Northern spicebush
Lindera benzoin

American strawberry bush
Euonymus americanus

Great laurel
Rhododendron maximum

Eastern redbud
Cercis canadensis

Alternateleaf dogwood
Cornus alternifolia

Blackhaw
Viburnum prunifolium

More Trees Questions

PVC pipes for irrigation in ground in Austin
August 19, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants,What are your thoughts on installing PVC pipes into the ground around trees and shrubby trees? A classmate's grandmother had a pipe pushed or pounded into the ground near her speci...
view the full question and answer

Trees for home in Kansas
April 01, 2012 - I am needing help planting trees in my yard. It's a new construction home and I would like a tree that won't get into the septic system easily. Also, I have to plant 3 other trees as well due to the...
view the full question and answer

Trouble with live oak in McKinney, TX
June 13, 2013 - We moved into a suburban home with a live oak tree with a trunk diameter of about 50". I noticed recently how yellow the leaves look compared to the other live oak in the yard. There is not a pattern...
view the full question and answer

Watering oaks in Houston, TX.
June 07, 2011 - Our yard (Real County, TX.) has many oak trees. We never water these trees, but I wonder if you recommend watering during this extreme drought. The trees look very stressed and are covered in ball m...
view the full question and answer

Will magnolia roots damage foundation?
May 16, 2010 - We have a Magnolia tree planted in a 5 foot square with foundation on three sides and a side walk on the front. These are all over our block placed by the builder. Will this tree work in this area or ...
view the full question and answer

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