En Español

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

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!

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

Possible transplant shock in recently planted Anacua in San Antonio, TX.
February 10, 2011 - I planted an Anacua tree from a nursery this past November. The tree I purchased was about 6ft tall and was a leftover from the spring. The roots were pretty wound up inside. After shaking the roots l...
view the full question and answer

Protection of American beautyberry in Pennsylvania
July 30, 2007 - I have had a beauty berry 2 years now. I trim it back in early spring and it returns beautifully. ...but no flowers this year and it's almost August. Last year, very few berries. Can you help? I...
view the full question and answer

Ruffly foliage on native lantana
November 05, 2013 - A native lantana in my front yard has developed ruffly foliage on one stem. It looks like miniature broccoli. What can this be?
view the full question and answer

Problems with wax myrtle in Roanoke, VA
August 20, 2009 - Our Wax Myrtle bushes tend to lose all their foliage during the Winter months and each year seem to flesh out their leaves less with each passing Spring. One bush never returned and save for one branc...
view the full question and answer

Changing bloom color from Tulsa OK
June 27, 2011 - How do you change the bloom color?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center