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

Sunday - June 27, 2010

From: Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Possible freeze damage to Texas Persimmon in Fair Oaks Ranch TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Texas Persimmon tree that is in a green belt. It has leafed out and flowered for the eight years we have lived here. This year it leafed out then the leaves turned brown and dropped. The top appears dead. New growth is coming from the trunk near the soil. Should I cut the top off? Is it going to survive? We are at the end of a 2-3 year drought.

ANSWER:

According to this USDA Plant Profile, Diospyros texana (Texas persimmon) is native to your area, regardless of which of the three counties you live in, Bexar, Comal or Kendall. We would also think that in USDA Hardiness Zone 8b, there should not have been freeze damage to it. However, we did have a most unusual winter all over Texas, and that is the most logical answer to your question we can come up with. 

Try the thumbnail test on the bark of the tree; scrape off a very thin sliver of the bark, and see if there is a thin layer of green beneath that. Start up high on the dead part, and work down toward the roots. If and when you come to an underlayer of green, you can trim the tree off there. We would not, however, recommend you do that until the weather is cooler. Give the tree regular watering and don't fertilize, a tree under stress should never be fertilized.  Also, don't trim off the new growth down below-that is probably suckers, but at this point the leaves on those suckers (which share a root with the tree) are the only sources of nutrition for the plant. When Fall comes and you can assess the situation, you can decide if you want a multi-trunk Texas persimmon or if you want to dig it out and start over. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:


Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

Diospyros texana

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Spots on just-emerging Zexmenia in Austin
April 02, 2010 - My zexmenia is just coming up from the ground after a cold winter in Austin. The leaves are all spotted with tiny holes as if something is munching on them before they even leave the ground or just as...
view the full question and answer

White fungus-like growths on plants from Stephenville TX
May 25, 2013 - What is a white fungus-like growth on plants in a garden? It can be seen on the ground in ball-like shapes similar to puff balls or on plants
view the full question and answer

Sooty mold on Sophora secundiflora in San Marcos, TX.
September 23, 2010 - Dear Mr. SP, We have a Sophora secundiflora that is suffering with very black mold or fungus on most of its leaves. Last year, I washed it leaf-by-leaf with soapy water but it's getting too big t...
view the full question and answer

Failure of TX bluebonnets to thrive
May 28, 2015 - We have had extraordinary luck with bluebonnets growing in our driveway of decomposed granite--until last year and this year. The bluebonnets seem to be drying up and wilting away. The ones in other a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with non-native weeping willow from Hazlet NJ
July 03, 2013 - Leaves turning yellow on weeping willow planted in May. What causes this and how can I fix it? Mother's Day gift after SANDY uprooted huge tree.
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