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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Toluca Lake, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native Carrotwood tree in Toluca Lake CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My Carrotwood tree leaves are turning yellow and curling down, Why? Also due to a bad trim, the outer limbs are dying. Can you tell me what is wrong? It is an old tree and I would like to save it!

ANSWER:

Due to the large volume of questions, we ask that you please limit your questions to topics related to North American native plants. This must be the season of bad luck for carrotwood, as this is the second question on this plant we have answered today. The first question was asking what the pesky nut-looking things were in their tree. We have excerpted the information from that answer.

"You don't need a spray, you need a hatchet. Quick, quick, get that tree out of your landscape and your life. Those nut-like pods are seeds, incredibly messy, as you already know, and they are being eaten by birds, who then sow them wherever, they will lie on the ground and kill your grass, and the tree itself is an invasive weed. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are devoted to promoting plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. This plant is the poster child for invasive non-natives. It originated in Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. We suggest that while you wait for the bulldozer to arrive, you read the following articles about places, including California, where it is already a menace." 

Plant Conservation Allliance Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Texas Invasives cupaniopsis anacardioides

Los Angeles Times Tree of the Week: Carrotwood Tree

 

 

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