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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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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!

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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

QUESTION:

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)

ANSWER:

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.

 

 

 

 

 

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