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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - January 06, 2011

From: Glenville, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Propagation, Transplants
Title: Tall Evergreens for Pennsylvania
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

I want to plant tall evergreen trees that grow really tall in deep shade or that I can plant already fairly large and withstand the shock of planting in a mature state and live in deep shade. I thank you

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants prefers recommending local native species; these can be reviewed by searching the “recommended species” list that can be found as one of the options on the Wildflower Center page.   You can also narrow the search by selecting State of Pennsylvania, “Tree” as the general appearance, and “Shade – 2 hours or less” as the light requirement.

 When I did this, I found lots of Evergreen options:   six members of the Pinaceae (Pine Family)Pinus resinosa (Norway pine) was mentioned as an ornamental and shade tree.   Picea rubens (Red spruce) was mentioned as an attractive ornamental and  Chamaecyparis thyoides (Atlantic white cedar) was recommended as "hardy as an ornamental" which might indicate the resilience and strength needed for transplantation.  About all we can do is suggest some options, as the field is quite open for evergreens that grow in the shade.  Below are images of likely candidates.

                             
Chamaecyparis thyoides
       Juniperus virginiana             Pinus echinata
White Cedar                          Red Cedar                             Shortleaf Pine

   A connected possibility you mentioned was to transplant a large specimen of your chosen tree.  Depending on what you call “large”, the expense and risk that you take to obtain a mature specimen of the tree likely justifies that planning and carrying out a transplanting may be an event that calls for the professionals!   The Wildflower Center has a list of suppliers that are similarly inclined.  There are quite a number in Pennsylvania, just launch a search for that state. I would expect that suppliers like Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery and American Native Nursery, that are 100%  native, and listed as landscape professionals, environmental consultants and as Wildflower Center Associates would be likely candidates to offer you some quality service.

 

 

More Propagation Questions

Digging wild buttercup from roadside in Mechanicsville MD
May 28, 2012 - Mr. Smarty Plants, is it illegal to dig out wild buttercup in Maryland? I see them along the dirt road or just in the ditch. Since buttercup considered weed, I'm wondering what the law say about this...
view the full question and answer

Can trimmings from non-native globe willows be planted from Broken Arrow OK?
June 13, 2010 - We have 2 globe willow trees in our back yard. We trim low hanging branches. Can we take these cut branches, -plant them and have it grow into a new globe willow tree?
view the full question and answer

Propagating plant cuttings in cut potato from Columbia MO
June 26, 2012 - Hello. I belong to a garden group and one of the members posted a "tip" she found in an early 2000 garden magazine. I wanted to see if there was any truth to the tip? Basically the tip was to use...
view the full question and answer

Removal of leaves before transplanting
April 05, 2008 - Before transplanting a plant, is it a good idea to remove leaves?
view the full question and answer

Standing Cypress Plants in San Antonio, TX
June 26, 2013 - I purchased seeds for standing cypress 2 years ago and this spring they look beautiful. What is the best way to harvest the seeds? Also, will the current plants come back next spring or will I have to...
view the full question and answer

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