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
1 rating

Tuesday - July 06, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need help with a Pecan tree that has been topped in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Hi Mr. Smarty Plants! I have a pecan tree on my property that was topped by the previous owners. I have searched high and low for information on how to correctly prune a tree that has already been topped, but all I can find are nearly hysterical admonitions to never top a tree. I understand that. Can you recommend any sources of info on how to properly prune and best care for a topped tree? Taking it out is not an option at this time. Thanks for your time and expertise!


I have seen some of these admonitions, and now you know why those folks get hysterical.

In my searching, I've come across only one site that offers suggestions for repairing damage from tree topping; Arboreal Tree Services in Mesa Arizona.

Another approach is to engage the services of a certified arborist. The International Society of Arboriculture can help you with finding one in Austin.



More Trees Questions

Pruning cherry laurel in January in Austin
January 07, 2011 - Do trust I checked Q&A first. Can Cherry Laurel shrubs be pruned earlier than late winter in Austin? I foolishly planted 12 native Cherry Laurel standards on our suburban property line 5 years ago. I ...
view the full question and answer

Live Oaks and Foundations
September 22, 2009 - I have a young live oak (18 inch trunk at it's base) growing within four feet of my house. What kind of damage can it cause my foundation? Need your help!
view the full question and answer

Manor, TX in Blackland Prairie ecoregion
June 27, 2006 - Hi, I am planning an event for my community in Shadowglen and Manor, TX so my neighbors can learn about using native plants in the landscape to create healthier habitat for wildlife and be more respon...
view the full question and answer

Why has my Kidneywood tree not put out leaves this year in Lockhart, TX?
July 06, 2010 - I have a native Kidneywood which I planted in 2003. It has grown enthusiastically since that time. It has always leafed late in the Spring, late April - mid - May. It bloomed several times in 2009. Th...
view the full question and answer

Oak Bark Loss in Arlington, TX
May 04, 2013 - I have multiple oak trees in my yard (in north texas) that have begun to lose their bark in small chunks. I'm in the middle of the city so their are no deer and yes it's been a dry 2 years but this...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center