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?


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

Saturday - January 02, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Damage to non-native peach trees in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have 3 peach trees, different varieties. In the past years it has just produced worm-eaten fruit, most of which falls to the ground before ripening. Can these trees be treated for a better crop this spring? They are about 13 years old. I live in the Hill Country. (rocky soil)


From the USDA Forest Service website Prunus persica, we extracted this quotation: 

"Peach trees are actually plagued by so many different pests and diseases that they should probably only be planted by the horticulturally dedicated homeowner."

Since you live in Austin, you may be aware that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. Peaches have been cultivated for many thousands of years, but they are native to China, which puts them out of our area of expertise. The article cited above can give you much more information than we can, and since we are not bug experts, either, we suggest you contact the Texas Agri-LIFE Extension Office for Travis County; hopefully they can give you some advice.






More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Chinese pistache in Eagle Pass, TX
June 14, 2009 - Hi Mr Smarty Plants!! I just bought a young chinese pistache tree, is no bigger than 7 feet. I've never had one of these trees before, I'm about to plant it and I would also like to fertilize it...
view the full question and answer

Roots of Savannah Holly close to house
February 26, 2009 - I live in Sugar Land and want to plant Savannah Holly at the ends of both sides of the front flowerbed. Are the roots too dangerous to plant so close to the house? (How far from the house should they...
view the full question and answer

Do Banana Plants Grow in Galveston, Texas?
March 30, 2011 - Do banana plants grow on Galveston island?
view the full question and answer

Controlling pumpkin vine in British Columbia
July 15, 2008 - I have never grown pumpkins before but decided to try one plant this year. It seems to be taking over my small garden space. Can I prune it back? I only want one or two pumpkins for my grandchildre...
view the full question and answer

Damaged non-native weeping willow in California
August 16, 2008 - I have a weeping willow that has no leaves and branches seems to have turned brittle. I don't see any bugs or burrows on the tree. The type of willow I have is very common in this area, although I'm...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center