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

Friday - October 26, 2007

From: Coquitlam, BC
Region: Canada
Topic: Trees
Title: Advice on planting Korean dogwood (Cornus kousa) in Vancouver, BC
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live in the Vancouver, BC - Pacific Northwest area and the front of our yard faces south to southwest. If I were to plant a tree other than an evergreen, would the Korean Dogwood thrive in this area of the country? Also, the neighbour's cedar hedge divides our properties - what small shrubs or plants would thrive with this cedar hedge?

ANSWER:

Vancouver is listed in Plant Hardiness Zone 6-7 and the Universtiy of North Carolina lists Cornus kousa (Korean dogwood) as being suitable for Zones 5-8. As its name implies, Korean dogwood is native to Asia, not North America. Although it would probably survive in Vancouver, perhaps you might consider planting a North American native, Cornus nuttallii (Pacific dogwood). It looks very similar to the Korean dogwood and occurs naturally in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest. You can see a maps showing the distribution of C. kousa and the distribution of C. nuttalli and see that the native species is more widespread in the Vancouver area.

You can do your own search for suitable plants for your area in the Native Plant Database using the "Combination Search" option and choosing your own criteria for plants but, here are some suggestions for small shrubs that should do well near the cedar hedge:

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (kinnikinnick)

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda (shrubby cinquefoil)

Empetrum nigrum (black crowberry)

Gaultheria shallon (salal)

Mahonia aquifolium (hollyleaved barberry)

Rosa acicularis (prickly rose)

Vaccinium vitis-idaea (lingonberry)


Cornus nuttallii

Arctostaphylos uva-ursi

Dasiphora fruticosa ssp. floribunda

Empetrum nigrum

Gaultheria shallon

Mahonia aquifolium

Rosa acicularis

Vaccinium vitis-idaea


 

More Trees Questions

Trees for a new home in Las Cruces, NM
October 06, 2009 - I've just purchased a brand new home in a sub-division in Las Cruces, NM and I'm looking for some landscaping advice. I come from upper-central Illinois, so I'm used to having trees pretty much al...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012 - I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a children's playground
April 20, 2015 - We have extensive native gardens on our 2 acre property, but my children want a garden of their own with plants they can hide under and that are good for imaginative play. Are there any native plants...
view the full question and answer

Tree Recommendations for Hutto, TX
September 28, 2014 - I live in Hutto, TX. I want shade trees in my back yard. I would like a fast growing tree as well as a slower growing tree. What trees are recommended for my area?
view the full question and answer

Privacy Screen Tree for Patio in NC
April 15, 2013 - What is a good tree to plant in front of a brick wall/fence to provide privacy and not compromise the structural integrity of the wall? The brick fence is my neighbors but I need privacy as they can s...
view the full question and answer

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