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 - March 13, 2010

From: Polo, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Trouble with Redbud in Illinois
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have a red bud bush, we live in northern Illinois, it is shedding its bark. Is this normal or is the bush dying?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, without seeing the actual plant, we are unable to diagnose the problem, recommend a treatment or make a prediction of whether or not your plant is in trouble. However, in my personal experience with redbud, I have not seen one actually shedding bark like an oakleaf hydrangea or sycamore does.  I have seen a vertical split that heals, but no shedding.

You don't mention how old the plant is, what kiind of light and soil conditions it is planted in and when you first noticed the problem (after a very dry, hot spell or a particularly cold winter, etc.).  You refer to the plant as a redbud bush, but I assume that you have a multistemmed version of Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud)

If you click on the plant link above you will reach the information page of our database for redbud.  You will find information there about cultivation requirements and may be able to diagnose the problem. The information indicates that a redbud is an appropriate plant choice for your area.

Your local county cooperative extension service will be your best resource for solving this problem. Redbud is one of my favourite plants, so I wish you luck!


Cercis canadensis

 

 

More Trees Questions

Live Christmas tree in Katy, TX
March 16, 2010 - My husband is really bent towards having a live "Christmas tree" in the front yard. I hate to use anything non-native so I am looking for a native Texas juniper shrub or a small tree that can be tri...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Ebenopsis
July 01, 2005 - Why is the Texas Ebony, genus Pithecolobium, not in your database? Is it not a native? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Trimming live oaks in Mamou LA
August 24, 2009 - We have 3 large Live Oak trees in our yard. The problem we are having is when we trim a branch off so we can walk under the branch, the whole branch dies back. Is there a certain way to trim the limbs...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming parsley hawthorn in Madison MS
April 25, 2010 - I have a parsley hawthorn that has never bloomed. It is thriving in a low area under tall pines. It gets filtered sun most of the day with more direct sun in late afternoon. I don't know the age but...
view the full question and answer

Bur oak defoliation
September 05, 2008 - I have a bur oak that was planted in 1993. In 2000, I had mortared stone edging (approx 5 inches deep) installed around the trunk from 4 to 6 feet away. In the last 3 years, the tree seems to be decli...
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