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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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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Questions From Near You

Wimberley , TX
Failure to bloom of one of two Texas persimmons from Wimberly TX
Last year my son planted two texas persimmon trees. One is blooming ok this year and the other is not. It does not seem dead. What can I do or is is in fact dying?
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Wimberley , TX
Browned foliage on Juniperus ashei in Wimberley TX
We are in Central Texas and have native "cedar" juniper trees. One with foliage that looked brown, on close inspection, is covered with white webs. The foliage looks like it is dying. No worms a...
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wimberley,, TX
Is Smooth Sumac deer resistant
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I noticed there was no deer resistant rating for smooth sumac in your plant data base. Aromatic sumac is rated as 'high'. Do you have an opinion on deer resistance for smo...
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Copperas Cove, TX
Transplant shock in Chinkapin oak from Copperas Cove TX
I have a newly planted chinkapin oak, appx 14' tall, in the Copperas Cove TX area. It has done great for the first two weeks. Now the leaves are yellowing (June) and beginning to dry up. I water it ...
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Wimberley, TX
Flaming sumacs in trouble in Wimberley TX
I planted three flaming sumacs last fall and all leafed out this spring. Then, early this month all the leaves turned brown on one and it appears to have died. Today I noticed that a second one is d...
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Wimberley, TX
Transplanting Muhly grass in late summer from Wimberley TX
Can I transplant Muhly grass in July/August?
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Wimberley, TX
How Close to Tree Trunks Should Bricks be Placed?
Do you have guidelines as to how close bricks can be placed to trees, particularly cypress, cedars and live oaks? Contractors habitually plant up to the trunk and I've had trees die from their roots...
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Wimberley, TX
Oaks at Wildflower Center from Wimberley TX
I know you have numerous Quercus fusiformis examples at the ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. My question is, do you also have Quercus virginiana growing there? Also, is Oak Wilt a disease that ...
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Wimberley, TX
Insect damage on possumhaw
We planted a small possumhaw in February of this year (2012). It had leaves and some berries and was doing real well until some bug starting eating the leaves and berries. I know it is not deer becau...
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Wimberley, TX
Removing competition of mustang grapes from live oaks
We have several native mustang grape vines on our rural property that seem to be taking over the live oaks on which they are becoming entwined. Is it advisable to remove them or are they harmless? And...
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Wimberley, TX
Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?
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Wimberley, TX
Do prairie verbenas (Glandularia bipinnatifida) have toxic sap?
Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Wimberley, TX and my 6 year old daughter picked wildflowers for her Mom over the weekend. I believe the species was Prairie Verbena but not 100% certain. Now, fo...
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Wimberley, TX
Failure to thrive of desert willow in Wimberley TX
I have a desert willow. It is always, whether I water it or leave it alone, yellow/ brown leaves, dark spots on the leaves, losing leaves. now it looks sad and not very healthy. Can you please tell m...
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Wimberley, TX
Cutting back Pampas grass.
When and how much should I cut back Pampas grass in the Hill Country of Texas.
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Wimberley, TX
Growing Native Plants in Juniper litter from Wimberley, TX
Junipers create an environment under their canopy that prohibits growth of other plants. I have a virgin lot that has been cleared of many juniper but has remaining heavy natural leaf mold containing...
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Wimberley, TX
Small plants for space between stones on a path
We've just installed a stone path (unmortared) near our house and are looking for plants/seeds that would do well in the gaps between the flagstones. Naturally they need to be very low growing and h...
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Wimberley, TX
Live oak sprouts in lawn and flower beds
I have several live oak trees that keep putting up sprouts in my lawn and flower beds. Is there any way to prevent this ?
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Wimberley, TX
Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
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Wimberley, TX
Reseeding a dead lawn in Wimberley TX
Our new house had a sodded lawn that now appears dead. There remains a layer of sandy soil as a part of the sodding process. Is there a way to reseed these existing slabs of sod and what process wo...
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Wimberley, TX
Sources for native plants in Wimberly, TX
Where can I go to find a good selection of Central Texas Native plants. I live in Wimberley and I want to fill my garden and land with native plants, shrubs and trees. I cannot find a place to purcha...
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Wimberley, TX
Bouteloua dactyloides to cover septic field in Texas
I need plants that can be seeded or plugged to cover a septic field at a new home on Lake Travis. What about turffalo? Other suggestions?
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