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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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Saturday - August 08, 2009

From: Buda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Watering trees and shrubs in Buda TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Should we be watering our green ash, red tips, chinkapin, burr oaks and yaupon shrubs during the drought? They are all starting to brown and drop leaves. THANKS!

ANSWER:

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. Not even drought resistant plants with good soil are able to withstand this extreme heat and drought we have had in Central Texas for most of the last two years. The larger trees should have their root areas (which may extend well beyond the dripline of the tree) sprinkled every two weeks or so, a good thorough sprinkling. Shrubs can have a hose stuck down in the dirt and a slow dribble allowed to run for an hour or so about once a week. Mulch on the shrub roots will also help keep the roots cool and hold moisture in.
 

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