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

Insects on hybrid 'Ann' magnolia in Morrow OH
June 17, 2010 - I have an Ann Magnolia. It is covered in all kinds of stinging insects and flies. This has never happened before. Is this a common problem for the tree? What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Replacement Yaupon holly doing poorly in Pflugerville, TX
May 09, 2012 - I had to replace quite a few shrubs after the drought last year. I live in Austin, TX. I have planted 3 dwarf yaupon holly bushes in the exact same place where the previous three same type of shrubs...
view the full question and answer

Cutting Back Perennials in the Fall?
November 13, 2013 - We have large beds of flowering native perennials that we planted around our house as part of a landscape conservation plan (various Joe-Pyes, goldenrods, turtlehead, blazing star, brown-eyed Susans)....
view the full question and answer

Wilting American Smoke Tree in Texas
April 21, 2013 - I planted a young American smoke tree last fall (mid-November) and it put out a good show of tentative new leaves this spring. Then to keep the tree form I clipped some little shrubby start ups at the...
view the full question and answer

Care of Ecuadorian penco century plant
December 17, 2007 - I was recently given a Penco, Century plant from Ecuador. It doesn't seem to be doing well. Two of the leaves have turned dark, then yellow, and died completely. Five remain, one seems to be dying as...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center