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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Thursday - February 12, 2009

From: Woodbridge, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Fast-growing "climbing" tree.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in Northern Virginia. My children would love for me to plant a "climbing" tree - short trunk, nice spread of limbs. Can you recommend a tree that could grow to meet this requirement in about the next 10 years (before they outgrow tree climbing)?

ANSWER:

We're not sure we can, in good conscience, give you a recommendation based on the requirements you've set.  A tree that would grow to climbing size in 10 years would have to be a very fast-growing species.  Such trees are invariably weak-limbed and brittle-branched.  While we know that kids often suffer broken bones, we make it a policy to avoid giving advice which will result in such breaks.  Also, tree-climbing is not really good for trees, especially young ones. We hope you understand why we're going to defer on this one.

 

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