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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers Nan Hampton, Jimmy Mills and Barbara Medford to be the culpable and capable parties. Yet, others think staff members Damon Waitt, Joe Marcus and Philip Hawkins might 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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Questions From Near You

Mariposa, CA
Deer eating creosote bushes (Larrea tridentata)
We have Creosote Bushes (Larrea tridentata) that grow wild on out 10 acres. The deer eat those plants all year 'round. Probably more in the dry times of the year. Just wanted to let you know that t...
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Mariposa, CA
Washingtonia palms need to be skirted?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have five Washingtonia palms on my property that have never been skirted and look rather shabby. The interesting thing is that they have thrived (20-30 ft) here to begin with...
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Merced, CA
Shade trees for horses in Merced, CA
I would like to plant some trees to provide shade for horses in the pasture. What native trees are drought resistant (water may be spotty in the summer) yet safe for the animals? I live in the Calif...
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Merced, CA
Evergreen shrubs for privacy in Merced County California
Mr. Smarty, A main road will be moving closer to our home in the next two years. A chain link fence will be put in but we would like to start planting now for privacy. We would appreciate any ide...
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Merced, CA
What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
What are the native fruit-bearing plants in North America?
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Madera, CA
Removal and disposal of very invasive non-native water hyacinth
I was given some Eichhornia crassipes, don't know how to care for them. Do you put them in some potting soil then put the pot in water? When do they bloom? Can they stay in the water during winter in...
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Rolling Hills, CA
Plants for erosion control in horse pasture
I have erosion on a slope, southwestern facing, minimal shade in Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA. The soil is rocky and clayish. The hillside is in the middle of a horse paddock and barn. What plants woul...
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sonora, CA
No Grapes on Vines in Sonora, CA
We have lived in our home since 2002 and have a grapevine that grows beautiful green lush leaves and vines every year but never has produced grapes. What can I do to get some grapes on this vine?
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Sonora, CA
Non native crape myrtle changing bloom colors in Sonora CA
I have a Red Rocket Crape Myrtle that was planted a little over a year ago. Last year the bloom was a beautiful deep red and this year it is a Mauvie pink. Is there something I can do to bring it back...
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Sonora, CA
Coreopsis failing to bloom in Sonora CA
My Coreopsis buds form and then die. Very few open. The plants are two and three years old, in a clay type soil. Is it possible they're getting too much water, and that is whats making the buds die ...
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Sonora, CA
Understory plants for Tuolumne Co., CA
My driveway is lined with purple plum trees. I would like to grow something underneath them. What can I grow that will not harm the root system/health of the trees?
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Waterford, CA
Non-fruiting Willamette raspberry plant in Wateford CA
I have a 2 year old Willamette Raspberry plant that has many blooms, bees, great growing conditions, very healthy but has never set one fruit. I know about pruning. Any suggestions? It has been bloomi...
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Waterford, CA
Information about empress tree (Paulownia tomentosa)
I have an Empress Tree, 3 yrs old, and the limbs grow straight out from the trunk about 2-3ft and then grow straight upward. When do they start to grow outward for a canopy??
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Waterford, CA
Beneficial characteristics of Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed)
I have a surprise Polk weed plant growing in my back yard, does it have any beneficial uses,and if not, how best to eradicate it. Thank you.
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Clovis, CA
Protection of redwoods from deer rutting
We have a mountain home that we visit every other weekend. Are there any methods to protect redwoods from deer rutting that we can put in place since we are not there enough to spray repellent every f...
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Clovis, CA
Black rot at center of Agave from Clovis CA
We have some beautiful variegated "Green & Cream" Agave plants in our cactus garden. One in particular has done quite well for several years and is the largest, about 18" tall & across, it has neve...
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Clovis, CA
Effect of pecan trees on pool deck from Clovis CA
I have pecan trees next to our pool deck. Are pecan trees invasive, will they lift up our pool deck?
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Clovis, CA
Are any cherry trees poisonous from Clovis CA?
Are there some cherry trees that are poisonous? if so, how do you identify them?
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Angels Camp, CA
Methods of planting state wildflowers on roadsides in California
My garden club is initiating a program to plant state hwy 49 within our county with our state flower, California Poppy. Do you have information on using hydroseeding as a method of planting?
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Fresno, CA
Taking plants to Alaska
I am moving from California to Alaska, can I take live plants?
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Fresno, CA
Cuttings from non-native weeping willow in California
I have a large area to plant, I have a flourishing Weeping Willow and would like to harvest cuttings from it to start new trees. What is the best time of year for this in Central California?
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