Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Thursday - May 05, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Freeze-damaged Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) that is several years old. During this past winter, one of the freezes we had split one of the largest trunk right below the soil line. That trunk is still living and actually bloomed this spring, but I have to prop up the trunk with stakes. Is it possible for this trunk to heal and support itself eventually and is there anything I can do to help it out? If we have to take out this trunk we might as well take out the whole tree and start over since the broken trunk is approximately 50% of the tree. Any other resources you could point us to would be helpful. Thanks.

ANSWER:

Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel)  is a very popular shrub/tree here in Austin, and it would be a shame to have to remove one that is several years old. However, that is a possibility.

The tree is usually multi-trunked, so Mr. Smarty Plants is wondering how many trunks there are? The other trunks could perhaps take up the slack if you have to remove the damaged trunk.

Since the tree is still living, I think I would give it this growing season to see if the break will heal. Staking the tree to help relieve the pressure on the break is a reasonable approach to encourage healing.

I’m enclosing a link to a previously answered question which also has links to helpful information about growing Mountain Laurel.


Sophora secundiflora

 

 

More Trees Questions

Thorny plant for fenceline security
December 23, 2009 - What kind of thorny plant or vine would you suggest to place along a fence for security purposes
view the full question and answer

Floristic Quality Assessment program in Texas?
January 19, 2009 - Do you have knowledge of a Floristic Quality Assessment program for Texas such as the ones used in Indiana and Illinois?
view the full question and answer

Need shrubs for a privacy screen in Glendale CA
October 30, 2014 - Dear. Mr. Smarty Plants I need to grow a tall hedge 15-20 feet minimum to block a condo complex which overlooks my back yard. I need a fast growing hedge which is non toxic to dogs and one which roo...
view the full question and answer

Desert willow for Florida?
March 10, 2011 - I, too, am interested in the desert willow tree. I reside in central Florida, 32162. However, Mountain States Nursery does not ship east of Texas. May I have a listing of other nurseries also. T...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen trees for California that are non-toxic for dogs
February 19, 2014 - Hi, we live in California, San Bernardino County and would like to know what evergreen trees are safe to plant in our backyard with 2 little dogs being around. I did quite some search online but ever...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.