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

Monday - September 07, 2009

From: Alburtis, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Trees
Title: Failure of smoke tree to bloom in Alburtis PA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

For whatever reason, my smoke tree did not bloom during its second season. Any ideas?

ANSWER:

Cotinus obovatus (American smoketree) is native no farther north than Kentucky, and is hardy from USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8.  There is another tree with the common name "smoketree," Cotinus coggygria (smoketree) which is native to Southern Europe, Central China and the Himalayas,  This USDA Plant Profile shows this tree growing in Pennsylvania and as far north as some provinces of Canada.  The expertise of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is limited to the care, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. 

To help you answer your own question, did this tree bloom previously, or are you saying you have had the tree two years and it hasn't bloomed yet. Many trees do not bloom until they have several years of maturity. Blooming takes a great deal of energy from the plant, and they need to devote that energy to leaves and roots the first few years. If it has bloomed previously for you, what has changed in the environment of the tree during the past year? Too much fertilizer, especially too much high nitrogen fertilizer like you put on lawns, will produce lush leaves and few or no blooms. Perhaps this website from Floridata, Cotinus coggygria, will give you the answers you need. 

 

More Trees Questions

Trees to replace ones lost in Westchester County, NY
May 09, 2013 - We lost a large number of trees in the forest adjacent to our home, and I plan to replant them. What species do you recommend to plant the area with natives and to keep it looking "natural."
view the full question and answer

Is California fan palm found on Edwards Plateau from Austin
January 18, 2013 - Is the following Palm, Washingtonia filifera, found in the Texas Hill Country, specifically the Edwards Plateau or Balcones Canyonlands NWR.
view the full question and answer

Native species of tree for Rockwall TX
March 19, 2014 - Hello, I am attempting to plant a native species of tree 20 miles east of Dallas, Texas (Rockwall, TX) in honor of my brother's marriage. He is a biologist and a huge supporter of native species....
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
July 06, 2011 - Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree or shrub in Massachusetts
May 16, 2013 - Good morning, We are in Zone 5 and have a tree/shrub I cannot identify in the backyard of our new home. Tall (6')and growing, green stems,and when the stems are broken the branches smell of lemon o...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center