Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - March 10, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possible reasons for non-fruiting wild plum
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My grandfather has land in Lee County with thickets of wild plum, I believe creek plum is another name. However, they never seem to produce plums while thickets nearby on the roadside less than one mile away do. What might be the problem (age, pollination, size, sex of trees, predation, nutrients)?

ANSWER:

This is an intriguing question, but I'm afraid we can't give you a definitive answer for the lack of fruit. However, here are several possibilities:

1. Lack of pollinators, but that is unlikely and easily checked.
2. Disease or predation during early stages of development of the fruit.
3. Too much shade.
4. Soil that is too rich is very unlikely, but possible
5. Genetic basis. The thicket is probably all one clone and it could be a sterile hybrid.

 

More Trees Questions

Need suggestions for plants for a bird/small wildlife refuge in Wichita Co, TX.
August 26, 2011 - With our continuing drought in North Texas, I'm planning to transform my small backyard into a bird/small wildlife "refuge". What types of native plants and grasses can I plant in dry, hot Wichita ...
view the full question and answer

Large, fast-growing shade tree for Val Verde County, Texas
April 03, 2016 - What is an overall good shade tree, very large & fast growing, to plant in Central South Texas, Val Verde County region? I am told that virtually nothing but Live Oaks or some other type of Oak will ...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in Red Oak in Albany, TX
October 20, 2015 - We planted a new tree last spring which we were told was a Texas Red Oak. The soil where it was planted is hard clay. We have had a watering bag on it and have watered an average of 2x per week throug...
view the full question and answer

Life expectancy of Desert Willow in Tucson, AZ
April 06, 2013 - What is the life expectancy of a Chilopsis linearis under ideal circumstances.
view the full question and answer

Do leaves with tannins make good compost from Austin
November 04, 2010 - I have a couple of old native pecan trees in my (or neighbor's) yard that drop bushels and bushels of leaves every fall. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I have a recollection that pecan leaves have...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.