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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members 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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Tuesday - April 22, 2014

From: Alpine, CA
Region: California
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.


From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer:

"Carrot Wood Tree, Cupaniopsis anacardioides , is a native of Australia where it is called Tuckeroo (see images). It is considered an invasive species in the United States. Since the mission of the Lady Bird Johndon Wildflower Center os to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants, and landscapes, two things that Mr. Smarty Plants doesn't care much for are invasive, non-native plants. See these two links for more information: California, and Texas."

Be sure and follow the link to California in the line above to see what naturalists think of this plant. They would probably feel the gopher, if that is the problem, was welcome to eat all he wanted. Since it is non-native to North American, we know nothing about its culture. Just to be sure we have made our point, please read this article from the Plant Conservation Alliance's Alien Plant Working Group LEAST WANTED on Carrotwood.


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Non-native tomato plant in Austin
August 30, 2010 - I have an upside-down tomato plant, started on July 4. For several weeks there have been 7 green tomatoes, with no further growth or ripening,despite daily watering. Am I doing something wrong?
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July 02, 2008 - Just want to clear up that I'm not in Italy, VERMONT. I'm in Italy, TEXAS. I don't know how the state slot changed from TX to Vermont, but please, I'm like you, lets just stick to TEXAS !
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Cultivation of non=native Brugmansia sanquinea
January 04, 2006 - I have had an Angel Trumpet since spring 2004, I keep it indoors in about 5 hours of sun a day. It is about 5 feet tall and was loaded with leaves. At Christmas time I had to move it from the front wi...
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Weed prevention in vegetable gardens
September 26, 2007 - Mr.Smarty Plants - I know this isn't your area, but we have a vegetable garden that has been plagued by summertime weeds. Do you have a recommendation for a control plan we could implement during t...
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Plants for hanging baskets in Austin
October 06, 2009 - Can you suggest some plants for winter hanging baskets in the Austin, TX area?
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