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

Saturday - November 21, 2009

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Red maple a casualty of Hurricane Ike in Houston
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a 3 year old Drummond Red Maple, between the sidewalk and the street in front of our house, that fell during Hurricane Ike. We replanted it. I recently noticed that the bark is severely cracked. Is there any way to save this tree? It bloomed this year, but the leaves were much smaller than the other trees on the same street. We've never seen such severe cracking on this tree. What should we do? Do we need to fertilize it or is it a lost cause? I'd love to send photos if at all possible.

ANSWER:

If you would like to send us photos, go to our Plant Identification page and get instructions for sending us pictures. Acer rubrum var. drummondii (Drummond's maple) is shown in this  USDA Plant Profile with  Houston a little out of native area of the Drummond red maple in Texas, but that has little to do with whether or not the plant survived a hurricane.

We have had a number of questions from people who lost trees to Hurricane Ike. The previous answer that comes the closest to yours concerned a live oak, but the situation was very similar.  Even with pictures, we would probably not be able to make a good diagnosis of your tree's problems, except "hurricane damage," which you already know. To replant a tree that has been violently uprooted is almost always unsuccessful. So much damage is done to the tiny little rootlets that draw water and nutrients from the soil, the tree may struggle on for a while, as yours has, but the outlook is not good. And certainly, fertilizing is the wrong thing to do; you should never fertilize a tree under stress, as yours surely is. 

We would suggest you see this article from the Texas Forest Service Hurricane Ike Response and Recovery. Then go to their Home Page where you will find links to, among others, "Landowners." This Home Page lists contact information, including e-mail. We don't know exactly the extent to which they can help you, but it certainly looks like a good place to start. 


 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Pruning oaks in August from Pflugerville TX
April 30, 2011 - Can I do minor pruning on my Lacey oak and bur oak in August if it is hot and dry? I'd like to prune one limb from each. The Lacey oak limb is about 2 inches in diameter, and the bur oak limb is ab...
view the full question and answer

Waxy deposits on Magnolia fuscata from Ethel LA
June 18, 2013 - I have a 4yr old Magnolia Fascata (aka banana shrub)- I noticed that it has small oval shaped yellow waxy deposits on the branches.. I have also noticed small black ants on the branches. The unknown d...
view the full question and answer

Need help with powdery mildew and mites in Bastrop, TX
July 26, 2011 - I tend to flower beds for the city. I have noticed a powdery mildew in 2 beds. It is on the Pavonia and Turks caps. I now notice mites. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Problems with lantanas in Austin
September 02, 2008 - Lantanas redux! I'm having similar problems with my Lantana here in Austin, Texas, as the person in Bandera. My husband has cut it back to the ground twice this summer. It returns, beautiful vibra...
view the full question and answer

Non-native invasive carrot wood tree losing leaves in Alpine CA
April 22, 2014 - My carrot wood tree is losing all of its leaves. The tree is about 15foot high & 13 years old. Could it be gophers? The tree was trimmed 1 year ago.
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