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: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native Bradford pear in Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hi. I have a Bradford Pear that I wrapped during the freeze at the base of the trunk during last years freeze. It is about 4.5 yrs old. The base has cracked and the top is dry and lifeless; however, at the base are 2 upshoots(?) about 2 feet long which are leafy and green. Even at the base is a crack in the bark. Should I try and let this tree live or just replace it?

ANSWER:

The Bradford Pear is a selection of Pyrus calleryana, native to Korea and China. The selection called the Bradford Pear was released into the retail market in 1963, with a lot of attention. However, as the trees first planted have begun to mature, a number of problems have appeared, the main one being weak trunks and branches, very susceptible to storm damage. Since this tree is not native to North America and certainly not to Texas, we would not recommend replanting under any circumstances. A tree native to an area always has a higher likelihood of being well-adapted to the soil, rainfall and climate conditions. This article from Floridata will give you more information.

In terms of the shoots coming up from the base, those are the attempts by the roots of this damaged tree to survive. They are attached to the original roots and if there is disease in the tree, it will certainly also be in those shoots. Even if they survived, it is unlikely they would make a suitable tree for your garden. We suggest you go to our Native Plant Database and search for a tree native to East Texas that will serve your purposes. We also suggest you not plant it until late Fall or early Winter, when the tree will be semi-dormant and less susceptible to damage in transplanting.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Gardening in Bahrain
June 07, 2011 - Hey, I'm living in Bahrain where the climate is really hot and the soil is kinda very salty. I've got my mango tree in the ground already, transferred it 2 months ago from the pot. I've noticed the...
view the full question and answer

Growth rate of non-native Asclepias curassavica
April 29, 2014 - As a volunteer at the National Butterfly center, I wonder how long from starting the seeds until the plant reaches approximately 20 cm tall does it take a tropical milkweed (asclepias curassavica) to ...
view the full question and answer

Non-native Paulownia tree roots around pool in Austin
May 13, 2010 - We live in Lakeway (basically Austin) and planted a Paulownia tree in our back yard. It is growing well. However, since we planted it a couple of years ago we have put in an in-ground pool. During th...
view the full question and answer

Invasive, non-native Eragrostis cilianensis, stink grass
March 22, 2005 - I am writing a children's book for Darby Creek Publishing about smelly plants and animals. I have read that Eragrostis cilianensis is one of the few bad-smelling grasses. Would the purpose of the o...
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native bottle brush bush
September 12, 2008 - I have a bottle brush bush it has not bloomed. I have had it about 6 months planted in the ground. I am worried it may not. can you tell me what you think. thanks lori
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