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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Tuesday - August 10, 2010

From: Merritt Island, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Bark of unidentified tree splitting in Merritt Island FL
Answered by: Chrys Bamman

QUESTION:

The bark on this 5 yr. old tree is splitting along its branches, like a sausage link splitting along its sides. Almost as if it is/was over-stuffed. Other than that, there are plenty of leaflets, some flowering (although I realize that it is still young). Thank you very much. I am worried that this is not a good thing, and am afraid of losing this beautiful tree. Thanks again,

ANSWER:

We are sorry, but without knowing what the tree is and in what conditions it is being grown, there is really nothing we can do for you. Furthermore, we are focused on plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plants are being grown.  If the tree is non-native, we probably still couldn't help you. If you can find out what the tree is and get back to us, we can try to find a cause for the problem. Or, you can contact the University of Florida Extension Office for Brevard County. Again, they are probably going to ask you what the tree is, so if you don't know, we suggest you contact a certified arborist, who can both identify the tree, tell you what is causing the problem, and whether it can be solved. 

 

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