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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 is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - August 17, 2011

From: Los Angeles, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives, Trees
Title: Non-native Jacaranda interfering with concrete wall from Los Angeles
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have been replanting the area surrounding our 2 story apt bldg and on one area, there is Jacaranda that started growing in an enclosed cement block wall area. The cemented walled in area which is filled in with dirt is about 6 feet wide by 30 feet long, and about 5 feet high. The Jacaranda is growing in the 6 foot area. Question: The trunk is about 8-9 inches in diameter now and about 25 feet tall. Should I be worried about it breaking out of the enclosed concrete block area? We don't want the root system to break apart the enclosed walled dirt/plant area. Should we take it out, trim it way down and how should we go about any of this. Appreciate any information to assist us. Thanks.

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native to North America and to the areas in which those plants grow natively. According to this Floridata article, Jacaranda acutifolia is native to the Amazon Basin countries of Brazil, Argentina and Peru, so we will have no information on this tree in our Native Plant Database. To quote one line from the above reference:

"Most jacarandas reach very sizable proportions and are unsuitable for small properties."

You might want to have a professional arborist look at this. It sounds to us like it is not only going to break out of its concrete "collar" but also could damage the wall.

 

 

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