Contact Us Host an Event 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

Monday - October 12, 2009

From: Sapulpa, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Native alternative for Japanese Red Maple in Oklahoma
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my being overgrown and too large. We thought the Japanese Red Maple would be nice, because it is a smaller and more contained tree, but I do not want to introduce a non-native plant. PLEASE HELP!

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants can offer several attractive small native trees for Oklahoma as an alternative to Japanese maple.  Here are a few of them:

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree)

Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac)

Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

Chionanthus virginicus (white fringetree)

Cornus drummondii (roughleaf dogwood)

Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)

Morus rubra (red mulberry)

Prunus mexicana (Mexican plum)

Viburnum rufidulum (rusty blackhaw)

You can do a COMBINATION SEARCH in our Native Plant Database to see other possibilities by choosing Oklahoma from the Select State or Province category and 'Tree' from the Habit (general appearance) category.


Cotinus obovatus

Rhus lanceolata

Cercis canadensis

Chionanthus virginicus

Cornus drummondii

Cornus florida

Morus rubra

Prunus mexicana

Viburnum rufidulum
 

More Trees Questions

Splitting bark on non-native mimosa from Buda TX
June 24, 2012 - What would cause my Mimosa tree to have splitting bark. I've only lived in this house for 8 months and am learning about this tree. The other tree seems fine. It looks as though it split and then ...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Plum not doing well in Liberty Hill, TX.
September 03, 2010 - Two summers have passed since I planted my Mexican Plum. It's in full sun. It seems to have added height but not much width. It's virtually a 7 foot stick with 1 foot branches from top to bottom. It...
view the full question and answer

Disagreement on amending soil for planting from Austin
September 01, 2012 - In today's newspaper column, you answered a question about transplanting a redbud. You said to follow the instructions on the WFC web site, except you recommended adding compost to the backfill soil....
view the full question and answer

Questioning native status of Alberta Spruce in New Jersey
November 11, 2005 - I am in the process of transforming my yard to native plants. Several years ago I planted a Dwarf Alberta Spruce. I want to be sure this isn't native before I remove it but haven't been able to fi...
view the full question and answer

Source for Pyrus ioensis var. Texana
July 09, 2015 - Any idea where I can find Pyrus (now Malus) ioensis var. texana for sale around the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

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