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
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 28, 2011

From: Euless, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Why do my Possumhaw Holly berries fall of in the summer in Euless, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My possumhaw holly has LOTS of green berries in the spring but they fall off in summer, so that I have only a handful of red berries in the winter. What is going wrong?

ANSWER:

One of the reasons for planting possumhaw Ilex decidua (Possumhaw) is for the beautiful red berries in the fall and winter. When they aren't abundant, its disappointing.

Mr. Smarty Plants is guessing that the problem has something to do with water, probably too little. Once the plant has flowered and the fruit is set, the cells inside the fruit require sufficeint moisture to divide and enlarge to fill out the fruit. Without enough water, all of the fruit can't develop.

This link from Oregon State University has some informative watering tips.

 

From the Image Gallery


Possumhaw
Ilex decidua

More Trees Questions

Freeze damage to Mexican olive in Austin
December 13, 2009 - I have a Mexican Olive tree/bush. It is young - about 8 ft. tall. This last freeze in Austin made many of its leaves turn black. I got this from your database: "Its native range extends no farther...
view the full question and answer

Precautions regarding pruning live oaks in the Austin area.
October 27, 2015 - Is it still recommended that we clean pruning shears and spray wounds when pruning live oaks in the Austin area?
view the full question and answer

Pecan tree for Johnson City TN
September 10, 2009 - I live in E. Tennessee and was wondering if there are any pecan trees that can be grown here? If so, which type? I am a native Texan and love pecans. I would appreciate any information you can give ...
view the full question and answer

Live oak bark splitting in Katy TX
October 03, 2011 - We have a 7 yr old live oak that looks like its bark is splitting open in branches and top leaves look wilted. If that sounds like oak wilt, do we need to have the tree removed? We live in a subdivisi...
view the full question and answer

Texas wild olive for Summerfield FL
January 17, 2013 - I want to buy a Texas Wild Olive for my home in Summerfield, Fl. My landscaper brought me a regular olive tree saying he had never heard of a Texas Olive Tree in our area. I have looked on line withou...
view the full question and answer

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