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

Monday - June 06, 2011

From: Baldwin, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Something killing evergreens on Long Island from Baldwin NY
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What seems to be killing so many of the evergreens on Long Island - see more and more dying each day - doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason - can it be helped? Many thanks.

ANSWER:

"Evergreen" is a pretty broad category, but we are betting that in your part of the country, USDA Hardiness Zone 6b, most of your evergreens would fit into the Conifer category. When we searched our Native Plant Database on "trees" and New York we found these conifer families native to New York:

Pinaceae (pine) - includes pines, spruce, and fir

Cupressaceae (cypress) - includes arborvitae, juniper, cedar and bald cypress (which is not evergreen)

Taxaceae (yew)

There are also 3 members of the Ilex (holly) genus that are evergreen, but they don't share the pest problems that the conifers do.

So, you see, we really don't know which evergreens you are asking about, but we do know that we have had inquiries from various parts of the country on diseases affecting conifers, mostly junipers, and Blue Spruce in the Western United States. Most of these, if not all, seem to be related to various species of spider mites. Rather than repeat a lot of material, we are going to link you to some previous Mr. Smarty Plants' answers, all of which have links to sites on the insects involved. We would also suggest you visit the website of the Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Lands and Forest, New York. Since there are 4 counties on Long Island, and several Baldwins in New York, we are going to take a guess and refer you to the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office for Suffolk County. Even if that is not your county, they will know what you are talking about and hopefully will provide you with some information.

Previous answers on similar questions from Mr. Smarty Plants:

Juniper mites May 27, 2011

Evergreens in New York, October 25, 2008

Arborvitae December 16, 2010

Junipers August 1, 2010

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Pruning mature cedar elm trees in San Antonio
September 14, 2008 - When is the right time to prune my several mature cedar elm trees? I'm in San Antonio, and they have never been trimmed in the 55 years we have lived in this home. I have several that are at least 7...
view the full question and answer

Effect of unusual wet weather on desert willows
July 23, 2007 - I live in North Central Texas and have 3 beautiful Desert willow trees that are usually in full bloom. I've kept them pruned to form a nice full tree shape but now they are losing leaves and looking ...
view the full question and answer

Cedar elm with brown leaves
August 12, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We feel we may have limited time to save our beautiful Ceder Elm. We have many trees in our yard (Post Oaks and Cedar Elms) and have been told they are all between 50 - 75 year...
view the full question and answer

Bloom color change in Choctaw Crape Myrtle
July 30, 2007 - In 2006 my wife bought a Choctaw Crape Myrtle from a local nursery. It had a tag from Greenleaf Nursery and had several blooms in the "correct" pink color. The plant was 5-6 ft tall. It has grown...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of palm tree leaves
May 14, 2008 - I want to know about palm trees. The leaves are turning yellow.
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