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 Trees Questions

California plants poisonous to dogs from Sacramento
July 01, 2012 - Found dodonea viscosa purple. Is it poisonous to dogs? Also Gold Star Potentilla. Going drought tolerant and need small trees, shrubs and plants not poisonous to dogs for sun and partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Privacy screen from Temecula CA
May 04, 2013 - I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
view the full question and answer

Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
April 02, 2012 - Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels...
view the full question and answer

Placement of lemon cypress tree in Miami, FL
May 25, 2008 - Where is the best place to have a lemon cypress tree? indoors or out? Presently in south Miami climate, Scott's potting soil, clay pot, with good drainage.
view the full question and answer

June bug larvae destroying Red Twig Dogwood in Pittsburgh, PA
May 02, 2010 - June Bug larvae are destroying my Red Twig Dogwood. I have treated with Milky Spore, but the long wait for benefit is too long to save the ailing plant. What can I do? HELP! Thank you from the bot...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center