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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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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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Thursday - July 24, 2014

From: Longview, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany, Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Mountain laurel with fasciation
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

My Texas Mountain Laurel bush has developed several "crested branches." What causes this, is it harmful & how do I get rid of them??? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Here is a link to a question to and answer from Mr. Smarty Plants about what I think you are seeing on your Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel).  They are not harmful to the tree—you can trim them off, but they are likely to come back next season.   These growths are called fasciations and Texas mountain laurels seem to be especially susceptible to them.  Here's more information from Purdue University about fasciation.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

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