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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: Non-Natives
Title: Bark splitting on non-native Royal Poinciana in tree in Merritt Island FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Information on splitting bark along the branches like an overstuffed sausage: A royal Poinciana tree, about 5 years old. The upper branches are doing this, although I'm afraid little splits or tears are starting to appear on the main trunk. It gets watered regularly on a re-use sprinkling system. Thank you,

ANSWER:

As we told you in our earlier answer, we probably can't give you much help because the Delonix regia, Royal Poinciana, is native to Madagascar. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center restricts its answers to plants native not only to North America but to the place in which they are being grown.  It is a tropical plant which has been cultivated in Florida, so we found an article on the Delonix regia from Floridata. By Googling on "splitting bark on delonix regia" we found some more articles where you might get help. One of the more promising was from the AgroForestry Tree Database. You might look around your area for another tree and try to find out from the owners of that if they know what the problem is. Beyond that, you're back to the Extension Office or a licensed, certified arborist.
 

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