Toby's All-Time Tips! What to plant in Kansas City

Toby's favorite plants that thrive in the Kansas City area are Pansies, Crepe Myrtles and Black Gum trees, not to be confused with Sweet Gum Trees.

"Black gum is one of the prettiest red trees we have in the fall," Toby said. "It grows about 45 to 50 feet tall, about 20 to 25 feet wide. The leaf is about the size and shape of an egg and it is very dark green in the summer time. The trees live anywhere from four to 750 years! They are amazing trees!"

Toby talks about his legacy in Kansas City |

"Crape Myrtle is my favorite shrub and there are a lot of varieties that will grow in the Kansas City area!" said Toby. "Crape Myrtle start blooming here in July and when it is hot in August, when the weather is even hotter and the meaner the weather is, these little plants just smile and they keep blooming and blooming and blooming."

What do people constantly try to plant here that Toby advises against? Toby says beware of Red Maple cultivars like October Glory.

"When I first started in this business fifty years ago, red maples were starting to become popular but it is a Canadian tree, and in the forest they're fine," Tobin said. "The thing that would drive me nuts is they produce a lot of surface roots. A red maple that has been in a lawn for ten or fifteen years will have roots everywhere and all of the sudden the grass starts dying off and you can't get in there and do anything with it!"

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