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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

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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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!

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Friday - May 25, 2012

From: Littleton, CO
Region: Rocky Mountain
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Dying leaves on Autumn Blaze Maple tree in Littleton, CO
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I have an autumn blaze maple where for the last two years the left side of the tree turns light green, then brown, and leaves die. The right side is dark green, normal. Is this a water over/under problem or something else? Thanks


The Autumn Blaze Maple is a hybrid, and as such falls outside the focus of The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center which is to increase the sustainable use and conservation of native wildflowers, plants and landscapes.

Your question has Mr. Smarty Plants asking some questions. Since he can’t see the tree, he can’t tell the left side from the right side. Is the tree growing next to a building or another tree? Does it get full sun, or partial sun? What kind of soil is it in? How much water does it receive? What time of year does this occur?
Answers to all of these could be useful in diagnosing your tree’s problem, so I’m suggesting that you contact the folks at the Arapahoe County office of Colorado State University Extension and see if one of their agents can look at your tree and help you with your problem.

This website of the North Dakota State University Extension fields questions about maples, and may be helpful.


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