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 - August 09, 2014

From: Santa fe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Treating splits in a Cottonwood tree trunk
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

How to treat slipts in trunk of 4 year old Cottonwood tree.

ANSWER:

Having never seen a slipt in a Populus fremontii (Fremont cottonwood) trunk, I am betting that you meant "split" in the bark.  If so, you shouldn't worry too much if the splits are small.  This web site gives some suggestions as to how you can treat bark splits so as to minimize any damage.  At the age of 4 years, your tree may be simply forming the fissured bark that characterizes older cottonwoods.

If your problem is splits in the trunk wood itself this could be a more serious thing.  The most likely cause in Arizona would be sun scald.  Another web site offers suggestions for treating splits in living wood.  Such splits, if small, will probably heal on their own.

You are probably aware that cottonwoods require a lot of water.  Is it possible that you have not been giving your young tree enough?  Drought stress might be a cause of splitting.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Arizona ash tree with brown leaf tips in Las Vegas NV
August 01, 2010 - We've had an Arizona Ash Tree in our yard for over 7 years it was doing fine until last summer, the tree seems to be struggling with the heat, its leaves look like they are burning up and turning bro...
view the full question and answer

Red buckeye not blooming in NY
July 04, 2011 - I planted my red buckeye in September 2007 and it was about 18 inches tall. It is now a few inches short of 5ft. tall. I have had it in the ground for nearly 4 yrs and it has never bloomed. I have fr...
view the full question and answer

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

Information about giant yellow and black wasps
September 13, 2008 - Regarding a previous question submitted by a person asking about the giant yellow and black wasps..It's a Cicada Killer.I used to see them all the time when I was a kid in Victoria, Tx..But I haven'...
view the full question and answer

Tip Dieback on Lonicera sempervirens
August 14, 2013 - I have a Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle) vine in Virginia which does well early in the season, but then around July, the very tips of its shoots (just the last 1-2 inches) wither, turn black...
view the full question and answer

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