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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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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

Helotes, TX
Best time to trim oak trees to avoid oak wilt
When is the best time to trim oak trees? Concerned regarding oak wilt if cut at wrong time. Ball moss is not harmful but will it help or harm if trees trimmed. These are large oak trees. Thank you.
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Helotes, TX
Possible wilt disease in mountain laurels
Three of about 24 of my mature mountain laurels died suddenly, the leaves turned brown almost overnight, scratching the bark revealed no green tissue, the small branches practically cracked when bent,...
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Helotes, TX
Fall Wildflowers for Helotes, TX
Dear Smarty, Could you please suggest a few colorful wildflowers for a sunny area. I live north of San Antonio, TX and would like to plant some flowers in October but I want something that has been ...
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Helotes, TX
Shearing Pink Skullcaps
My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
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Helotes, TX
Something to grow under a chinaberry tree
I have a huge Chinaberry on the west side of the house. We enjoy the shade it provides and have it limbed up pretty high, but it's located between two 2-story houses and of course drops buckets of it...
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Helotes, TX
Erosion for check dam in San Antonio
What are the best trees for a shallow soil wind break in San Antonio? I am building a check dam (maybe 2' deep by 20' wide tall) over a shallow limestone gully to slow the erosion. the gully drai...
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Possible freeze damage to Texas Persimmon in Fair Oaks Ranch TX
I have a Texas Persimmon tree that is in a green belt. It has leafed out and flowered for the eight years we have lived here. This year it leafed out then the leaves turned brown and dropped. The top ...
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Propagation of Texas grapes
What is the best way to propagate wild Texas grapes?
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Pruning of non-native abelias in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
I have some old established Abelias that are leggy at the bottom. Can I cut them back, and if so, how far and best time to do so?
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Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Taking down a Century Plant blooming stalk from Fair Oaks Branch TX
Our century cactus looks like it's in the final stages of blooming and I read on your site that the original plant dies. Can we go ahead and cut down the tall blooms?
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Gatlinburg , TX
Use of pictures from our Image Gallery
I would like to use the picture of prickly wild rose on a website I am designing for information on native plants. I am designing this site for children and teachers. Who do I contact?
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Rio Medina, TX
Forum for reporting rare plants
Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I was wondering if there is a forum for Texans to submit sightings of native plants they find? I live in Medina County and 2 years ago had a rare native plant growing in my yard ...
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Rio Medina, TX
Managing non-native invasive creeping yellow cress in Rio Medina TX
Due to my lawn mower dying and waiting for the shop to fix it my yard got a bit overgrown. I was walking around the yard looking at the blooming wildflowers and have discovered that one of them is Ror...
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San Antonio, TX
Non-native Pride of Barbados from San Antonio
I have some very successful wildly blooming "Dwarf Pride of Barbados" plants growing in my xeriscape garden. Each year I cut them back to the ground. I have just purchased a new variety called "...
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San Antonio, TX
Leaves dropping on native Texas Mountain Laurel in San Antonio
Please help. We have a beautiful TX Mountain Laurel in our front yard. This year the leaves are dropping like snow in the north. What do you think is wrong with our tree?
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San Antonio, TX
Replacement for non-native St. Augustine in San Antonio
I have a large oak tree on one side of my front yard. St. Augustine grass does not grow there because of the shade. What do you recommend as a replacement for the St. Augustine? I would like to send...
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San Antonio, TX
Is there a red esperanza (Tecoma stans)?
There is a red esperanza that I pass by everyday on my way home from work. I have never seen this plant anywhere but this particular spot. Is there really a variety that is red or do you think it is...
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San Antonio, TX
Replacements for photinia from San Antonio
i just read your response to someone regarding Red Tip shrubs. You just saved me thousands of dollars ! I was getting ready to order over 250 of these to line my 2.5 acre fence line. What shrub would ...
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San Antonio, TX
Leaves on non-native Chinese pistashe tree yellowing in San Antonio TX
My chinese pistashe tree leaves are turning yellow. The tree is about 25 years old. the last time it did this I applied some iron granules into the ground around it. However I have forgotten how mu...
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San Antonio, TX
Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
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San Antonio, TX
Recovery of an agarita having been cut down from San Antonio, TX
I had an agarita adjoining a cedar and a volunteer hackberry in my yard. The tree trimmers were supposed to cut out the hackberry but unfortunately also cut the agarita back to the ground. How long ...
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