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
2 ratings

Friday - May 27, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with Juniperus ashei in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in San Antonio and have many juniper trees. On inspection I do not see insects or any other form of damage, but my trees are turning brown and dying. I have already had to cut one down. When I look around my area I notice other Juniper trees that look the same. Please tell me what is going on and how can I save my trees?

ANSWER:

We are getting all kinds of correspondence from all over, not just Central Texas, about browning or even yellowing of the foliage of various members of the Juniperus genus, including Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper).

Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer, which has all sorts of suggestions about the cause. We have even been in e-mail correspondence with a number of area forestry experts or landowners with lots of "cedars." Our opinion is that the extreme drought this year has so stressed the junipers that they have become susceptible to mites of various kinds, including the juniper mite. The consensus from all this discussion is that until it rains, the problem is going to persist. We realize that is not much help to you, but the Ashe juniper is a persistent tough native tree, we know it has had problems in the past, but we think, as a species, it will be all right. There will probably be some tree loss, as we are now passing out of May, our traditionally rainy season, but that is always a risk in gardening in what is basically an arid locale. This makes conservation all the more important, and planting trees and other plants that can tolerate low water use, as well as cutting down on thirsty non-native lawns.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Non-native Boulevard Cypress Pom Pom trees in Princeton NJ
October 29, 2011 - I just had some landscaping done near my front door and front yard. I have two Boulevard Cypress B&B (4-5') Pom Pom. The pom poms are turning brown. What should I have been doing? I am watering them ...
view the full question and answer

Problem with unknown tree in Austin, Texas
July 23, 2013 - Have recently moved to Austin, Texas and have a tree in my backyard that has been dropping leaves and one major branch appears to be dead. That branch has hard rust colored sap circles (about penny si...
view the full question and answer

Black rot at center of Agave from Clovis CA
May 12, 2013 - We have some beautiful variegated "Green & Cream" Agave plants in our cactus garden. One in particular has done quite well for several years and is the largest, about 18" tall & across, it has neve...
view the full question and answer

Problems with rock rose in Austin
June 10, 2013 - Hi Mr Smarty Pants, We have a Texas Rock Rose which is growing next to our gravel path in Austin, with grass growing under it. In the last week, it has stopped blooming suddenly, and all the leaves h...
view the full question and answer

How do I save my recently transplanted yaupon holly?
April 20, 2011 - Recently transplanted (two weeks ago) a yaupon holly tree from one part of the yard to another. Leaves are beginning to turn yellow and fall. What can be done to save this plant?
view the full question and answer

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