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

Changing colors on Mexican Plum trees from Bellaire TX
June 20, 2013 - The leaves on my Mexican Plum tree have recently started turning yellow/brown and the veins in leaves are red. Is this a watering issue or disease issue? Mites are on the leaves. This has been a ra...
view the full question and answer

Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
June 15, 2007 - A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa
May 18, 2008 - I planted both tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa. Both are chlorotic and the native milkweed has brown upturned leaves. Could it possibly be too much water? Or what?
view the full question and answer

Problems with rock rose in Austin
June 10, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, We have a Texas Rock Rose which is growing next to our gravel path in Austin, with grass growing under it. In the last week, it has stopped blooming suddenly, and all the leaves h...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011 - We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
view the full question and answer

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