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

Thursday - July 17, 2008

From: Chimayo, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Verticillium wilt in catalpa and maple
Answered by: Barbara Medford


On Monday - July 07, 2008, you answered a question about a catalpa and maple with the same problem--an entire branch died, and then more of the tree died. And both trees came from the same nursery. This fits the exact description of verticillium wilt, which both catalpas and maples are susceptible to. If you can post this answer somehow, it could be very important since the fungus may have come from the nursery.


You are correct that verticillium wilt could have caused the demise of both trees in our previous answer. We did refer the person who inquired to their local Extension office. We also recommended that they call in a trained arborist to physically examine the trees. It's very difficult to analyze or prescribe diseases from the descriptions given us, and it should be someone with local knowledge that makes that decision. And, hopefully, to follow up on the nursery from which the trees came. Unfortunately, most of our questions just want a quick fix and we're afraid they don't always follow up on reading our referenced information and/or getting a local expert to actually look at the problem. We appreciate your calling this to our attention, and we hope that others with similar situations will realize that there are problems that we cannot solve online. Even if we hit the nail on the head, knowing what the problem is does not necessarily cure it without positive action on the part of the gardener.


More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
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

Death of Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy from Austin
April 18, 2013 - I have one small area that there are two plants - Texas Betony and Blackfoot Daisy withered and died eventually. Same kinds of plants are doing fine close by. It is my front yard close to walk way.I w...
view the full question and answer

Are Ashe Junipers dying from mite damage in Austin?
August 08, 2011 - If Ashe Juniper needles are turning brown and dropping off the trees because of drought, and not disease, do the needles ever come back, or have the tree limbs died? What if the cause is mites, not ...
view the full question and answer

Hibiscus wilt in Texas Star hibiscus
November 10, 2005 - I have a Texas star hibiscus on my deck. It flourished all summer, but not quite a month ago, the leaves turned yellow and fell off. Will it come back? What happened???
view the full question and answer

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