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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.

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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.

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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!

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Wednesday - June 08, 2011

From: Riverton, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Problems with redbud in CT
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

My Eastern redbud was planted 4 years ago and has been fine. This Spring it was beginning to pop out buds. Less than a week later, after returning from a trip all the buds were dead, never flowered, and the tree appeared totally dead. Now some buds and flowers are coming out sporadically only from the main trunk. What could have happened?

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, without seeing your tree or a sample of one of the branches which died, we cannot make a conclusive diagnosis of the problem. 

According to the Illinois Extension service, Esatern Redbud is susceptible to a number of fungal diseases and other probelms such as herbicide damage.  Follow this link to a detailed information page about the problems and symptoms.  Most fungal diseases affect the plant's vascular system causing branch dieback, so this may be what you are dealing with.

We recommend you contact your local Agricultural Extensive service.  They should be able to give you a diagnosis based on a sample or photo or perhaps even be able to send an agent or Master Gardener to help you.

 

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