En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - October 18, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Flameleaf sumac problems
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have three flameleaf sumacs, which were planted last December. One is doing very well, but two are losing their leaves. First, black spots appear on the leaves, then the leaves turn yellow and wilt, and then they turn black and fall off. Can you offer any suggestions?

ANSWER:

Rhus copallinum (winged sumac), also called flameleaf sumac, is considered a drought and pest resistant native shrub, excellent for this area. However, we had a very strange summer, with a lot of cool weather and moisture for two months and then summer came back with a vengeance and doesn't seem planning to leave. Mr. Smarty Plants was asked a similar question about a relative of the Flameleaf sumac, Rhus virens (Evergreen sumac) and you can follow this link to our answer. As we noted in that answer, it could be that the plants in your garden need some trimming for more air, and checking their drainage to make sure they are not standing in soggy soil. Because it is a native, the sumac usually gets along very well in this part of the country. Another consideration is that the Rhus copallinum (winged sumac) is deciduous as opposed to the Evergreen sumac, which is not. Perhaps partly because of the weather this year, your sumacs may have chosen to drop their leaves a little early. Hopefully, time, patience, normal (for Texas) weather, and perhaps a little attention to drainage around the roots of your plants will get everything back to what you expected from your plants.

 


Rhus copallinum

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with lantanas in Austin
September 02, 2008 - Lantanas redux! I'm having similar problems with my Lantana here in Austin, Texas, as the person in Bandera. My husband has cut it back to the ground twice this summer. It returns, beautiful vibra...
view the full question and answer

Blackening of top growth of yaupon in Sunrise Beach TX
June 09, 2010 - My question regards a Will Flemming yaupon which I am thinking may be within your scope of expertise. These were recently planted under windy conditions, then hit with a neighbors antiquated jet type ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of gooseberry plant
July 12, 2007 - Grew up in Colorado, our yard and several near us had medium to large size deciduous shrubs that produced small (.25"-.375") red berries that were very tomato-like. Delicate with a thin skin, sligh...
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping on evergreen sumac in San Antonio
January 11, 2012 - I have a large evergreen sumac in my back yard that started off as a small shrub 10 years ago. This summer the leaves turned red and now have dropped off. Is the plant dead? It sent out two smaller pl...
view the full question and answer

Advisability of trimming oak trees in August
July 13, 2007 - In general,what is your opinion on pruning oak trees in August? If it is positive, should the extreme moisture of this year affect the timing?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center