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

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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Wisteria with root rot in Flower Mound, TX
July 11, 2009 - I have a wisteria that is showing rot root from an exposed wound on the side of the base. Would like to save the tree. What can I do to fix the problem.
view the full question and answer

Trouble with live oak in McKinney, TX
June 13, 2013 - We moved into a suburban home with a live oak tree with a trunk diameter of about 50". I noticed recently how yellow the leaves look compared to the other live oak in the yard. There is not a pattern...
view the full question and answer

Decline in willow tree in West Virginia
June 15, 2008 - I planted a willow tree about three years ago and it was progressing just beautifully with full leaves this spring in a nice green color. We staked it back about three weeks so it would grow straight...
view the full question and answer

Mexican oak and red oak not looking healthy
August 02, 2014 - I purchased a Mexican oak tree and I believe a red oak tree from your center about 1 year ago. Recently I've noticed that they don't look as healthy as they have been, and I just looked at the leave...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center