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?


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

Thursday - April 08, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native Chinese Pistache tree with dead branches in Georgetown TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Have mature Chinese Pistachio tree with many dead branches and few buds forming so far this spring - has been beautiful for many years. Do you know why this is happening and what can be done about it? Thank you


Pistacia chinense is native to China, Taiwan and the Philippines, and therefore out of our range of expertise.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the care and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. Here is a website from the USDA Forest Service which might give you some information you need. 

However, while we have your attention, may we give you a couple of reasons why we would be happy if you replaced your tree with something native? First, read this Texas Invasives.org Plant Detail Page on Pistacia chinense. Then, check out Dave's Garden Forum on Chinese Pistache. There are two very negative opinions about the tree, one from Texas.

We suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLife County Extension Office for Williamson County. They should be able to help you with the diagnosis and treatment of the tree's problems. 


More Non-Natives Questions

Bulletproof plants from Burleson TX
April 18, 2013 - I recently wrote you a question concerning planting a privacy plant consisting of wax leaf ligustrum on my country property. Your answer was immediate (thank you-I am impressed). I like the wax leaf ...
view the full question and answer

Is a mulberry tree undesirable?
June 27, 2013 - I have a hard time keeping plants alive, so I was happy when a random plant just started growing and thriving about 5 years ago in my yard. My mom (a frequent volunteer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildf...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native tomatoes from Spokane WA
August 18, 2012 - I have 2 tomato plants in 1 whiskey barrel, they are in abundance with tomatoes. My problem is when the tomatoes start to ripen, half green & half light red within 1 day the tomatoes are really soft ...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating non-native Asian Jasmine in Austin
December 02, 2010 - I have a large bed in front of the house full of jasmine that was planted by the builder 25 years ago. What suggestions do you have to eliminate it and prepare the bed to plant native flowers and pl...
view the full question and answer

Source for non-native, invasive Winter Honeysuckle from Austin
April 24, 2013 - Seeing Lonicera abiflora today reminds me of the "winter honeysuckle" my grandfather grew in San Antonio from 1920s or so through the 1950's. It was a bush with stiff upright stems and bloomed cre...
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center