En Español

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

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!

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

Tilling for grass under old live oak in San Antonio
April 15, 2012 - Hi, I have a 250+ year old Texas Live Oak. As usual, the lawn under the tree, after 18 years needs to be redone. MY QUESTION: to put down new sod the lawn company needs to till the soil about 4 t...
view the full question and answer

Need to find an alternative to Bradford Pear in the Woodlands, TX
September 18, 2011 - Hello! I am trying to find an alternative tree to a Bradford Pear. I love the seasonal change in these and ordered one, but after the many negative reviews I've read (smell, weakness in branches, mes...
view the full question and answer

Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
May 31, 2013 - I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.
view the full question and answer

Pruning smoketree in New Jersey
May 29, 2009 - How far from ground level do I prune a relatively young Smoke tree to get the bush effect?
view the full question and answer

Young Maple Dropping Leaves in Late Summer
September 05, 2013 - I have a 6-year-old maple tree. I'm not sure what type it is as the builder planted it. It is as tall as our two-story house and very healthy. It's the biggest tree in our neighborhood because we fe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center