En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Freeze-damaged Texas Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.

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 Trees Questions

Fertilizing oaks to produce acorns
January 16, 2012 - Will fertilizing oak trees help with acorn production?
view the full question and answer

Propagating Magnolia grandiflora from Murfreesboro TN
August 03, 2011 - There are several Magnolia grandiflora (Southern magnolia) that have been planted in my neighborhood in middle Tennessee by a landscaping company, and now that they all appear to be producing seeds, ...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

Identity of tree with fragrant yellow flowers and thorns
June 06, 2013 - I'm not sure if this is a native plant. It's a tree, around 15" tall. The leaves are in bunches with 3-4 very sharp small spines at each bunch. Flowers are small, yellow, hang down from the leaf...
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees for South Austin.
January 25, 2008 - I live in South, South Austin, just a pinch West of 35 near 1626. I would like to plant some fruit trees in the back yard. Anyone will sell fruit trees, but they don't always grow. What fruiting var...
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