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

Tuesday - November 08, 2011

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Are brown junipers (Juniperus ashei) dead?
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

If the cedar/junipers in our area are brown, will they ever come back green? Or just clear them out as dead. There are many of them due to the drought. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Unfortunately, your Juniperus ashei (Ashe juniper) are most likely dead.   Deciduous trees can react to stress by losing their leaves earlier than usual and then re-leaf in the spring or even before spring if the situation causing the stress is alleviated.  For instance, this summer during the scorching temperatures and no rain the Juglans nigra (Black walnut) in my yard and the Carya illinoinensis (Pecan) in my neighbor's yard both had most of their leaves turn yellow and fall, but after the 2-inch rain in September they produced new green leaves.  Brown evergreens, however, are probably dead evergreens.  However, you can test them by bending the smaller branches.  If the branches are flexible and full of sap, they’re still alive.  If they’re brittle and dry, they’re dead and won’t come back.  Some of the “brown” junipers that are still alive will put out new growth in the spring, but it will be from the tips of branches.  If the browned junipers do survive, they’re likely to be unattractive for quite some time.  That might be reason enough to remove them. 
 

 

More Trees Questions

Pruning dogwood in TX
February 02, 2011 - I have a roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) sapling that I would like to keep at shrub height (~6 ft) rather than let it form a tree. Can I encourage this by cutting the main trunk, and if so, by ...
view the full question and answer

Tree transplants having problems in Manchaca TX
April 03, 2010 - I have recently transplanted a Mexican Buckeye, Chinquapin oak, and Sandpaper tree that I have been raising inside since they were seedlings. They have now developed a browning of the tips of their l...
view the full question and answer

PVC pipes for irrigation in ground in Austin
August 19, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants,What are your thoughts on installing PVC pipes into the ground around trees and shrubby trees? A classmate's grandmother had a pipe pushed or pounded into the ground near her speci...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Texas Madrone
July 24, 2005 - Hello, where can one acquire the Texas Madrone for planting? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Non-native, invasive Paulownia for San Marcos TX
April 24, 2012 - Can a Paulownia tree grow in San Marcos? If so were can I get one?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center