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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

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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Tuesday - April 01, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Foliage of non-native Japanese maple tree
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Japanese maple tree (1 year old) is bright red in early spring. Then it turns green. Is there a way to keep this tree red?

ANSWER:

The mission of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes. Since the Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) is native to Japan and South Korea, it is out of the area of our expertise here. We were able to pick up a couple of pieces of information that might be of use to you. One source said that the Acer palmatum would retain its color better if it was sheltered from afternoon sun. Another held that different cultivars (cultivated varieties) retain color better than others. This website from Floridata can probably help you with more information.

 

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