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

Saturday - May 05, 2012

From: Lake Kiowa, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree well for partially exposed roots from Lake Kiowa TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Medium oak tree along lake has partially exposed roots. Can we make a barrier (what kind?) and fill the roots behind it with topsoil, compost, etc.? Tree and roots are above the waterline. Lake occasionally floods and rain runoff can cause washing, too. Thanks.

ANSWER:

We had no experience with this problem, and didn't have a clue where to start. But when we searched on "tree well" we found this excellent article from West Virginia University Tree Wells by Clifford W. Collier Jr. Apparently, the most important thing is that the roots that are exposed not be suffocated (roots need oxygen, too) by having soil or water over them. The referenced article has a number of illustrations showing how to handle the problem in different ways. Doesn't look easy, but trees are valuable assets, so you will probably want to proceed with some construction.

 

More Trees Questions

Moving a large red horse chestnut tree in Jackson MI
April 20, 2012 - I have a red horse chestnut that is maybe 12 inches around, can I move it after the sap goes down about 10 miles to our new place? Sadly, I cannot afford to hire a tree truck. What are its chances?
view the full question and answer

Delay in fruiting of Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
July 20, 2005 - Dear experts, My wife and i are members of your fine organization. Several years ago we bought four things at a spring plant sale for an understory spot in our yard. The Possumhaw Holly, American ...
view the full question and answer

Opinion of 5 best native garden plants in Oklahoma from Burneyville OK
September 07, 2013 - What would you say are the 3 to 5 BEST native garden plants for south central Oklahoma?
view the full question and answer

Non-native Boulevard Cypress Pom Pom trees in Princeton NJ
October 29, 2011 - I just had some landscaping done near my front door and front yard. I have two Boulevard Cypress B&B (4-5') Pom Pom. The pom poms are turning brown. What should I have been doing? I am watering them ...
view the full question and answer

Tx Mt. Laurel and Mex. Buckeye seed propagation in drought
July 01, 2011 - I live in the Hill Country near New Braunfels. Since I am only at my house in July and August, I would like to plant both Texas Mountain Laurel and Mexican Buckeye from the seeds harvested from mothe...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center