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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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Wednesday - April 06, 2011

From: Lago Vista, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native peach trees from Lago Vista TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two peach trees that are setting fruit. Last year the small fruit had sap coming out of most of them. When they ripened there was a rotten spot in each of them. I had to throw most of them away. Please tell me what kind of insect is doing this so I can start treating the trees.

ANSWER:

 There are a number of members of the Prunus genus in our Native Plant Database:   Prunus americana (American plum), Prunus caroliniana (Carolina laurelcherry), Prunus emarginata (bitter cherry), Prunus fasciculata (desert almond), Prunus pensylvanica (pin cherry), Prunus texana (peachbush) and Prunus virginiana (chokecherry), but, alas, no Prunus persica, peach, which is believed to have originated in China but, like most food plants, has been hybridized and grafted so many times there is no determining the real parentage. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is focused on the use, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown, so we really can't help you. 

However, the Texas A&M Extension service is not so committed to native plants, and often has information on fruit trees and other edible crops. We suggest you contact the Extension Service Office for Travis County for more help.


 

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