Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - May 11, 2009

From: Canton, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with Thuga occidentalis in Canton MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have emerald arborvitae that have become very "shaggy" and somewhat orange at the base of some leaves, while my neighbors look compact and dark green. What am I doing wrong?

ANSWER:

Thuja occidentalis (arborvitae) or white cedar is a widely-used evergreen hedge plant. We found out that the 'Emerald' cultivar is also referred to as 'Smaragd' and is considered a smaller version of the traditional plant. About the only clue we found is that after an especially cold winter, the foliage will turn yellow-brown. That's not orange, and if your neighbors are not having the same problem, then we can only think that there must be some kind of stress on your trees that the others are not experiencing. Have your plants been watered sufficiently? Are they in the neighborhood of a large tree that might have roots interfering with your arborvitae? Have you examined the tree for bagworms? Here is an article from Ohio State University on arborvitae that includes some of the things that can cause problems with the tree and that mentions the 'Emerald' cultivar.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why is my weeping willow looking so bad?
June 15, 2009 - My weeping willow suddenly up and looked like it died Yellow leaves dried up and dropping off It is planted in what is called "Wet lands" Clay soil water wet Just looks like it is dying
view the full question and answer

Growth on top of Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
July 03, 2012 - I grow purple coneflowers in my garden. ONE plant has something growing on the top of each cone. I would like to know what it is but I don't see how I can add a photo to this post.
view the full question and answer

Pale leaves and brown tips on Tecoma stans in Austin
November 12, 2008 - I have a Tecoma Stans planted in a large galvanized container in a sunny spot. It has grown very fast in the last few months and flowers regularly, but the leaves are pale and the tips are turning bro...
view the full question and answer

How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
April 20, 2011 - Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
view the full question and answer

Sooty mold on Texas Sage in Heath TX
December 09, 2010 - I have a Texas Sage that has developed a mildew, blight, fungus or (?) condition. Something has attacked the leaves with a black sooty condition. What is this and what can I do to help this plant thri...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.