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
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

Beetles in spineless prickly pear in Austin
June 05, 2010 - I have an enormous spineless prickly pear in my front garden. It's about 6 feet tall, and 6 feet wide. It has blossoming yellow flower. However, it also has large colonies of black beetle-ish bugs li...
view the full question and answer

Freeze damage to non-native Philodendron selloeum in Deltona FL
June 22, 2010 - My philodendrons selloeum died this past winter in the freeze,came back slowly this spring and now are suffering with very small deformed leaves. Some do grow but are getting large brown dry areas on ...
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree dropping dead leaves
August 02, 2014 - I have a very old, tall pecan tree in my yard that has been dropping dead leaves for the last three weeks. My back yard looks like it is the Fall season. Do you have any insight on this?
view the full question and answer

Fungus Spots on Native Bush Honeysuckle
December 03, 2010 - My native bush honeysuckle plants that I have along my back fence have leaves that are turning yellow with spots. It appears to be a type of fungus, but not powdery mildew. Any suggestions as to what ...
view the full question and answer

Powdery mildew hits Rock Rose in Round Rock Texas
May 05, 2011 - My beautiful Rock Roses have gotten spots of white fuzzy "fur" on their leaves in the past month. This is not something they have ever had before and I'm worried its some kind of disease. Is it so...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center