En Español

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
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

Live oak leaves not dropping from Austin
April 29, 2014 - We had a 65 gallon live oak planted last October. We watered it regularly and it was green all through the winter. In March the leaves started to turn brown but never dropped, as they should have. ...
view the full question and answer

Mice eating seeds put out for birds
June 02, 2008 - I love feeding the wild birds and put out seed in our backyard. Now, I have a family of mice eating the seed and they are living in the trunk of our elm tree! How can I get rid of them without killi...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in Liatris spicata
May 25, 2008 - I bought a liatris spicata start a month ago, and transplanted it into my front yard (full sun, clay soil, moist due to all the rain recently). The plant immediately wilted so I transplanted it in ...
view the full question and answer

Need help with powdery mildew and mites in Bastrop, TX
July 26, 2011 - I tend to flower beds for the city. I have noticed a powdery mildew in 2 beds. It is on the Pavonia and Turks caps. I now notice mites. What should I do?
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for death of Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera) in Austin
April 04, 2006 - Several wax myrtles in my neighborhood appear to have died. Should we have the soil or tree checked for fungus, or should we atrribute the death to freeze or age of the trees?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center