En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 24, 2011

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Shrubs
Title: HOA chopping down wax myrtles from Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My local HOA just chopped down 80+ wax myrtles saying that they lived out their life span..they are roughly 18-20 years old..is there a species of wax myrtles that lives only 20 years..or did they confuse mature maximum height and lifespan?

ANSWER:

There are 4 species of the genus Morella listed in our Native Plant Database. The one that is probably in your area is Morella cerifera (Wax myrtle). The others, found more commonly in other parts of the country, are: Morella californica (California wax myrtle), Morella caroliniensis (Southern bayberry) and Morella pensylvanica (Northern bayberry). We looked at a lot of papers and articles about these plants, and not a single one mentioned anything about expected age of decline, or maturity. All mentioned heights, but they were all over everywhere, ranging from 3 to 40 ft. tall.

We really don't know what the reason was for cutting down the wax myrtles. Without being able to see them, we could hardly know if there was disease or insect damage.

 

More Shrubs Questions

Pruning overgrown spicebush shrubs in Ohio.
October 08, 2009 - I have 2 spicebush shrubs, a male and female, on the north side of my house. They have been there for years, but like everything else I have ever planted, they grow way larger than the catalog i boug...
view the full question and answer

Why did the blossoms on my mountain laurels dry up before they flowered?
March 15, 2015 - Why did the blossoms on my mountain laurels dry up before they flowered?
view the full question and answer

Time for pruning wax myrtle in Texas
January 31, 2015 - We live in Houston. Can we prune back our southern wax myrtle now?
view the full question and answer

Weak flowering on rosa minutifolia from San Diego CA
July 27, 2013 - Hi, I have a Rosa minutifolia and has been doing great, but when it gives flowers the petals fall too fast, only last a day or two and also the fruit never forms completely and finishes drying so I ca...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for a barrier hedge
October 13, 2008 - Is there a native hedge I can plant to provide privacy? I have hostile neighbors behind me and would rather plant a hedge than put up a fence. I looked through the Virginia native species and didn'...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center