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?


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

Monday - April 02, 2012

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Mountain Laurels are dying in Georgetown, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


Ten year old Mountain Laurels both last year and this spring have had entire branches turn brown just after blooming this Feb. Round Rock Arborist suggested I contact you. Last year one of my laurels had to be removed after the entire tree died. Two others near by did not have problems. This year in another area the same things is happening. I can send pictures if you will send me direct email link.


Texas mountain Laurel Sophora secundiflora (Texas mountain laurel) is a spectacular plant for the Central Texas landscape, and one of its features that is often touted is that fact that it is generally disease and pest free (aggie-horticulture). Then reality steps in.

An internet search brought up this San Antonio Express News article which isn’t too encouraging. Further searching revealed this previously answered question that offers some suggestions for a course of action.
I would suggest contacting the folks at the Williamson County office of Texas AgriLife Extension for help closer to home.


From the Image Gallery

Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
May 18, 2013 - Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up i...
view the full question and answer

Oak leaf fall causing ivy damage
August 28, 2007 - I read the A/Q in the Austin American-Statesman Saturday, August 25, regarding the leaves falling now from the live oaks. I am experiencing the same thing, but it is the leaves of my post oaks that a...
view the full question and answer

Foam on Salvia greggii in Austin
October 20, 2010 - I have 7 Salvia greggii plants. I am seeing a white foam like substance on tip of all of them (where flowers use to be). Any suggestions on what is happening to the plants?
view the full question and answer

Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
December 29, 2010 - Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? ...
view the full question and answer

Hypoxylon Canker removal in Austin TX
March 26, 2012 - I have several oaks that appear to have been killed by Hypoxylon atropunctatum from last summer's drought. Is it safe to cut them down in March or does that risk spreading Oak Wilt too. Should I ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center