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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Saturday - September 19, 2009

From: Westerville, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Tree to replace non-native Japanese maple in Westerville, OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I am wanting to plant a Japanese maple in an area of my yard that probably gets too much sun for this plant. I am trying to figure out what kind of plant I could plant instead to get an Asian feel I am trying to create for our patio area. Are there any native plants that would grow well in Ohio (zone 6) that would provide that type of look that you can suggest?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, care and propagation of plants native not only to North American but to the area in which they are being grown. Acer palmatum, Japanese maple, is native to Japan, Korea and China and therefore out of our range of expertise. We recommend native plants because they will need less water, fertilizer and maintenance in their own areas, as well as supporting the birds and butterflies that are accustomed to their own plants.

We don't know exactly what an "Asian" look would be, but we will look for some shrubs or trees that are native to Central Ohio; perhaps you can choose something that suits you from among our suggestions. Follow each link to the page on that specific plant to learn more about it.

Shrubs for Central Ohio: 

Amorpha fruticosa (desert false indigo) -  deciduous, 6 to 10 ft., blooms orange, blue, purple, violet April to June, low water use, sun or part shade

Cephalanthus occidentalis (common buttonbush) -evergreen, 6 to 12 ft. tall, blooms white, pink June to September

Rhus typhina (staghorn sumac) - deciduous, 15 to 30 ft. tall, blooms red, yellow, green June and July, low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Salix discolor (pussy willow) - deciduous, to 20 ft. tall, blooms white, green, brown February and March

Trees for Central Ohio:

Acer rubrum (red maple) - deciduous, 40 to 60 ft., blooms red March and April, high water use, sun or part shade

Betula populifolia (gray birch) p- deciduous, 35 to 50 ft., low water use, sun, part shade or shade

Asimina triloba (pawpaw)- deciduous, 10 to 40 ft. tall, blooms white, red, yellow, purple April and May, medium water use, sun, part shade or shade

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) - deciduous, 15 to 30 ft.,  blooms pink March to May, low water use, part shade or shade

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Amorpha fruticosa

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Rhus typhina

Salix discolor

Acer rubrum

Betula populifolia

Asimina triloba

Cercis canadensis

 

 




 

 

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