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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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Thursday - December 16, 2010

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pruning of non-native nectarine tree from Lakeway TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Could you describe when and how a nectarine tree should be pruned? Or, give us a resource for such information? Also, when and what type of treatment/pesticide (?) should one use on it in the Austin area to prevent any sort of problems when it starts to bear fruit. We had approximately 100 lbs of fruit last year (first yr. to produce) but it all had to be destroyed due to fungus or scale? Thank you very much.

ANSWER:

Prunus persica, nectarine tree, probably originated in China. It does not grow in the wild, but is only a cultivated plant. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown; therefore, the nectarine falls out of our realm of expertise. 

This article from Gardening Central has a good section on pruning the tree.

Pictures of Prunus Persica from Google.

 

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