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
1 rating

Monday - June 22, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Why is my Ash drooping?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are weighing all the branches down. The canopy has dropped noticeably and most of the branches seem to be pointing down. It's still thick and green, not losing any leaves, but it looks like it's melting. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's a Texas Ash, or the "dreaded" Arizona Ash, which I'm told has a limited life span in this area. What might be wrong with my tree, and what can I do about it? I really, really don't want to lose this tree. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Since you are in Austin and you said it is a big tree, Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking you have an Arizona Ash  Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash). The Texas Ash Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) is a smaller tree, and it is very colorful  in the Fall. Compare the images  of the plants: F. velutina ;    F. texensis. This will help you determine which Ash you have.

The Arizona Ash produces copious quanities of fruits/seeds beginning in early spring into the summer, and the crop seems heavy this spring. If your tree  is covered with seeds, this could be the cause of the drooping limbs. The seeds eventually fall, and the drooping should be reduced. Now Arizona Ash is a dioecious species; so if your tree is a male, there won't be any seeds and this doesn't answer your question.

Another course of action is to have an arborist check on the overall health of your tree. The Texas Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture can help you contact a certified arborist in Austin.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Mystery pest eating portulaca blooms
July 02, 2006 - I'm from Texas and I purchased some portulaca from a local nursery about three weeks ago and planted them in the front yard....with plenty of sun. Here's the problem. The foliage seems very health...
view the full question and answer

Need help with a 50 ft Tulip Tree with storm damage in Brownsburg, IN.
June 30, 2010 - I have a 50 ft Tulip tree that suffered storm damage. One for the main branches split at the top fork and fell. It has left about 6 ft of exposed wood but there are still a couple of main branches in...
view the full question and answer

Bark damage to Tulip Tree
August 10, 2006 - I have a tulip tree planted. It is about 9-10 years old. Two years ago the tree looked as though the trunk was cracked. Maybe hit by lightning after a storm. This year the bark on the side of tree...
view the full question and answer

Problems with gaura in Kyle TX
May 10, 2011 - Gaura - I seem to have something going on with this plant. I've tried fungicide that also works on mealy bugs and spider mites, etc., but they're looking rather puny? Any suggestions? thanks
view the full question and answer

Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus
January 24, 2012 - Are other soil remedies needed (besides those listed in your Habiturf brochure) to install Habiturf on land which had a St. Augustine lawn which was decimated by take all patch.
view the full question and answer

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