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?

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
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

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

Having a problem with my Mexican Plum in Houston, TX.
July 05, 2011 - I am having problems with the Mexican Plum Tree in my backyard, sap is oozing from the branches and several large branches have died. I am inclined to think that it I have infestation of borers? How ...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree for Johnson City TN
September 10, 2009 - I live in E. Tennessee and was wondering if there are any pecan trees that can be grown here? If so, which type? I am a native Texan and love pecans. I would appreciate any information you can give ...
view the full question and answer

Replacements for Ashe Junipers in Georgetown, TX
November 03, 2012 - We have cut down several cedar trees on our property in Williamson County Texas. We would like to replace the cedar trees with another variety of tree. Do you have recommendations for what type of t...
view the full question and answer

Identification of mystery tree in Huntington Beach, CA
March 25, 2015 - Have a "tree" that has grown from about 18" tall to about 10' tall in a little over a years time. It has a central trunk that is about 3/4" in diameter at it's largest. It has short thin branch...
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree, non-toxic for horses, in Northern California
March 18, 2010 - Hello..I need to find a fast growing shade tree, native to California (I live in Northern California, south of San Francisco) that would be safe next to (but not in) my horses paddock. Obviously some...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center