This native species makes a wonderful addition to the back border of a garden, as long as you can handle its sprouts from the runners.

Don’t worry about kids falling out of this tree. It’s terrible for a tree house, or just for climbing, and for pretty obvious reasons.

It is a native deciduous plant, fairly common from New York through the lower Midwest, and south to Texas and northern Florida.

John Nelson is the retired curator of the Herbarium at the University of South Carolina, in the Department of Biological Sciences. As a public service, the Herbarium offers free plant identifications. For more information, visit or email