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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Brooklyn, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Pests, Shrubs
Title: Blueberry bushes failing to leaf out in Haines Falls, NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Blueberry bushes planted in spring in upstate New York; no leaves, only the stem. How do we know if they are alive? Blueberries do very well in that area known as Haines Falls, New York (mountain area).

ANSWER:

There are four plants native to New York with "blueberry" in their common names:

Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry)

Vaccinium caespitosum (dwarf bilberry)

Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)

Vaccinium uliginosum (bog blueberry)

Of these, Vaccinium angustifolium (lowbush blueberry) and Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry) are found growing in Greene County, NY, where Haines Falls is located. 

In answer to your question, how do you know if they are alive, do the thumbnail test. Scratch a thin layer off the bark of the branches. If there is a thin layer of green beneath that, the bush is alive. Work your way down from branch tips until you find some green. If you don't, as late in the year as it is, the plant is dead. The only indication we found on these plants that might explain leaflessness is that they are favorites of browsers, which probably would be deer in that part of the state. Deer generally won't browse stickery plants, but they would probably have no problem in nipping off fresh green leaves.


Vaccinium angustifolium

Vaccinium corymbosum

 

 

 

More Shrubs Questions

Native plants for morning sun in Pembroke MA
October 07, 2009 - Could you please suggest native groundcover,plants/shrubs/grasses for eastern facing slope which gets morning sun? It is my front yard which slopes down toward driveway so it would be a major focal po...
view the full question and answer

Problems with native palms in Austin
April 10, 2011 - We had a large variety of California fan palms and blue sabal palms in our yard that were damaged during the last freeze. We found that several of them now have "spear pull," which means we could p...
view the full question and answer

Noise reduction hedge from Austin
April 17, 2013 - Noise reduction hedge row in Austin. We back up to a very busy street and need a fast growing noise barrier. In a similar post for the Houston area, you recommended Gordonia lasianthus -loblolly bay. ...
view the full question and answer

How to keep persimmons from staining patio
August 10, 2008 - We have approximately 4 female persimmons bearing fruit around our back patio. Birds are carrying the berries to our patio and eating them which leaves a dark stain on our patio. I'm having to go o...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
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