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?

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

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

Tuesday - December 16, 2008

From: Pasadena, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees resistant to Armillaria mellea, root fungus
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We had to bring down a 200 year old oak which root system was compromised by Armillaria mellea. We were told the fungus is still present in the soil & it's advisable to plant a resistant species. We're looking to find a native (or non-invasive) faster growing tree that will do well in the hotter and hotter climate of the region and be able to shade the south east face of our house. Any recommendations?

ANSWER:

First of all, here is information about Armillaria mellea and similar fungi from the  U. S. Forest Service, Forest Pathology.org and the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program of the University of California Extension.  The U.S. Forest Service and Forest Pathology recommend removing stumps and as many of the roots as possible of affected trees before planting new trees.  All three of the sources above agree that the use of resistant species is one of the most effective means of controlling the fungus.

The University of California Davis has a list of plants that are highly resistant to Armillaria mellea and there is an extensive list showing plants that are resistant, or susceptible, to Armillaria mellea from Chase Horticultural Research.  Many of the plants on these two lists are not native to California and North America and we would not recommend any of those.  However, here are ones that are native and occur in Los Angeles County, or an adjacent county, that we would recommend:

Acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia)

Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash)

Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone) and photo

Prunus ilicifolia (hollyleaf cherry) and photos

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)


Acacia farnesiana

Fraxinus velutina

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Shepherdia argentea

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Corkscrew willow damage to roof in Detroit, MI.
August 13, 2009 - I have a corkscrew willow (Detroit, MI) that is huge and whose branches hang on top of the asphalt shingles of my mobile home. It has now been discovered that these shingles, under the branches, are ...
view the full question and answer

Low maintenance replacement garden in Ashburn , VA
April 30, 2009 - We live in Ashburn, VA (Northern VA). Our house is 10 years old and the contractor grade plants have died. We are planning on digging everything up and re-doing the landscaping in our front yard - r...
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

Replacement trees for southwest facing backyard in Austin, TX.
September 23, 2010 - The back of the house we are purchasing faces southwest and is completely devoid of large shade trees. I have been told that the previously existing trees were destroyed by oak wilt. I am in love wi...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a tree to plant as a memorial in Leesburg, GA.
September 09, 2010 - I'm looking for tree to plant as memorial to my brother who died. It must be native, for South Georgia, zone 8, open fields. It should provide mast for wildlife. Heat zone 8, good drought-tolerance. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center