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?


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

Wednesday - April 30, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Repairing damage to Anacacho Orchid Tree in Austin
Answered by:


Hi You Guys!! We have an understory Anacacho Orchid Tree in the front and my sweetie was trimming the big oak and dropped a branch down, splitting one of the large branches off the Anacacho. The wound is about 4 inches long by an inch wide. What should I do, if anything, to protect it from pathogens? Is this a concern? Or should I let it callus on its own? Thanks!!!


First, check out this article from our How-to articles on How to Prune a Tree. We could find no indication that the Bauhinia lunarioides (Texasplume) was susceptible to any pathogens, including any that might infect the tree with an open wound. However, since you're obviously concerned about it, why don't you trim off any ragged stub from the break, following the pictures in our How-To article. Then, when you have a nice clean cut, you can use a spray-on sealer designed for this purpose. It is a valuable tree, rather rare in the wild, and kept in existence by gardeners like you. It's probably worth the extra trouble.


More Pruning Questions

Eastern redcedar uprooted by snow in Arlington, TX
February 14, 2010 - During the recent snowstorm one of our juniperus virginiana fell over with the rootball looking intact and with a lot of soil all around it.Should we try to save it? It is approximately 20 feet tall ...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to esperanza in pot from Brady TX
December 10, 2009 - My esperanza, currently in a container, has suffered some freeze damage. I have prepared a planting spot for it and am not sure whether to plant now, trim it back if I do plant it, etc. I would appr...
view the full question and answer

Cutting back salvia greggii in Birmingham, AL
February 23, 2010 - When is a good time to cut back salvia gregii and how much can you cut it back. We will probably still have frost. Will it grow in sun and shade?
view the full question and answer

Trimming of Escarpment Oak from Austin
May 18, 2014 - We have a 2-year-old quercus fusiformis in our front yard and have been advised by some people that we need to remove the bottom branches and trim the ends of the branches that are hanging far down. ...
view the full question and answer

Texas sage losing inner leaves
May 14, 2015 - I have a Texas Sage bush that on the outside is beautiful with green leaves. The inside branches (the middle) of the bush are bare of any leaves. Why?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center