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

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

Should flower stems of Texas mountain laurel be removed after they bloom?
March 02, 2016 - Should I trim off the old flower stems from this years bloom on a Texas Mountain Laurel?
view the full question and answer

Need for smaller tree with less invasive roots from Ft. Worth TX
June 07, 2014 - The sycamore in the front yard has developed roots larger than the branches. They have decided that the water and sewer lines are perfect to acquire their water from. For this reason it will be coming...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a Shaded Slope in Philadelphia
April 17, 2015 - I have a small slope along the North side of my house in a suburb of Philadelphia. A small maple tree grows there but most of it gets no sun at all (a large segment is under the tree). I had the soil ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen shrub for East Texas
October 31, 2012 - I am looking for a small to medium evergreen shrub (native to east Texas) for a location that receives some sun in the morning but mostly shade. Something that blooms & attracts butterflys & hummingbi...
view the full question and answer

Savannah Holly True to Seed?
July 03, 2016 - I read your information on Savannah holly. Does this mean that none of the berries will produce a Savannah holly (Ilex x attenuata) but will either be Ilex cassine or Ilex opaca seeds? Thanks so much...
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