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

Saturday - July 16, 2011

From: Lebo, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Seasonal Tasks, Transplants, Trees
Title: Leaves on 3 year old maple turning brown in Lebo, KS.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Hello, one of our five Maple trees which is is 3 yrs. old now, we saw a week ago that the leaves started turning brown and dropping. My question is: Will the tree survive this and return healthy next spring? We have been watering it since this happened, e/o day. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Some thoughts that race through Mr. Smarty Plants’ head: What has changed recently in the plant’s world? (watering, fertilizing, insect attack.....?) Have all of the leaves dropped? Is the plant alive? What about the other four maples?

This may sound strange, but even after three years, your plant may be experiencing transplant shock. Being transplanted is is a stressful experience for a plant, and in some cases it can take up to five years before the situation stabilizes. This  can vary depending on the type of plant, soil conditions, amount of moisture, and other environmental factors. Right now in Texas, we are having a drought.

I’m going to refer you to some web sites that deal with tree planting, transplant shock in trees, and watering tips (you should reduce the watering to only once a week at most).

Tree planting

Transplant shock

   north scaping.com

   gardeningknowhow.com

Watering tips

To determine if your plant is living, you can do the “thumbnail test”. Take a small upper branch and scrape of some of the outer bark with your thumbnail. You are  looking for green (living) tissue. If you find none, move down the stem a little bit and try again. Continue down the stem until you find green tissue; if none is found, I'm afraid that your tree isn’t alive.

 

More Seasonal Tasks Questions

Deadheading Mexican hat to produce more blooms in Austin
July 05, 2010 - I have several Mexican hat (rudbeckia) plants growing wild in my yard. Would deadheading now give them a second flush of bloom in fall?
view the full question and answer

Transplant time for Virginia Beach, VA
July 08, 2009 - I have a friend who is not a gardener but lives on a piece of property that has a gorgeous back yard with lots of plants, shrubs and trees that are becoming overgrown. I have her permission to dig up...
view the full question and answer

Shade trees for Spring TX
August 17, 2011 - Dear Mr.Pants, our west-facing backyard in Spring, Tx, is unbearable in this Summer's heat. Neither us nor the neighbors has any backyard trees established yet, as the subdivision is pretty new. C...
view the full question and answer

Best preparation time for wildflower garden for summer
January 21, 2003 - Is it too late in late Fall to prepare a wildflower garden for next spring/summer?
view the full question and answer

Time to cut back Turk's Cap in Austin
January 27, 2011 - I did not find my question answered in the database. My question is: When is the best time to cut back Red Turks Cap? I live in Central Austin.
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