En Español

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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - August 19, 2010

From: Torrance, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pruning, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Branches of yucca being blown down in Torrance CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a Yucca tree about 30 ft tall. Lately when the wind picks up in Torrance we have had about 3 branches fall out of the tree. Can you help me with this. I don't want to cut all of the branches off but our safety is in question here.

ANSWER:

We think you may have answered your own question, in terms of safety. Someone standing under a 30-ft. yucca tree when it fell would probably get hurt, not just from the weight of the branch but from those long dagger-like leaves on the yucca. We looked at the four members of the Yucca genus native to California, and decided this sounded most like Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree). Our page on this plant in the Native Plant Database says this can grow from 5 to 40 feet, and that it is native to the Mojave Desert. We don't think this is the sort of thing you should try to deal with, we know we wouldn't, and recommend you call in an expert in yuccas to help you make the decision whether trimming it would be adequate or the whole plant needs to come down. And then they can take care of it. 

 

From the Image Gallery


Joshua tree
Yucca brevifolia

Joshua tree
Yucca brevifolia

Joshua tree
Yucca brevifolia

Joshua tree
Yucca brevifolia

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Landscaping with native plants in Austin
October 06, 2005 - I'm expanding a flower bed in front of my house and would like to keep it all natives. 1) How do I find out what type of soil I should add? (I live near Hyde Park, Austin and haven't had a soil te...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting blue agave pups in Arizona
February 03, 2009 - I have a blue Agave with lots of pups, how do I transplant a few pups into planters. What kind of soil and how much water will they need?
view the full question and answer

Large agave (century plant) flower stalk
June 17, 2008 - HI.I live in Blythe, Ca. and have a GIANT of an agave in my back yard. It is now over 40'high and is blooming. I first noticed the stock growing at Easter when it was about 12' high. It is now t...
view the full question and answer

Leaves turning black on Agave americana
June 06, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants- We have a ~5-year-old agave americana that began to have leaves turn yellow (to black in some areas) just this past spring (2008). A neighbor's tree had started to overhang t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center