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

Friday - June 01, 2012

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Concerns about swings on trees in Arboretum from San Marcos
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We very much enjoyed our visit to the new Arboretum this morning! It is already lovely with native species but will really be something with the additions the Wildflower Center has chosen. The picnic areas are lovely and what a wonderful idea to have an area with swings under the oaks! I was dismayed, however, not only at the fact that the swings were actually attached to the oaks but at the manner of attachment. Surely it would have been better for the oaks to not have bolts drilled into them and to have moveable supports for the swings so that the inevitable foot brushing troughs could be moved from place to place, sparing too much abuse to the same part of the roots. An arboretum should set an example on how to care for trees. Additionally, some limbs to which swings were attached appeared to already have been somewhat compromised before the addition of swings. I would hope that a qualified arborist was consulted on this, because in the long term there could be significant safety concerns both for the swingers and the oaks.

ANSWER:

Actually, we had consultation with swarms of arborists, including some of our own staff. A number of tree care companies in the area donated a great deal of time, manpower, expertise and materials to the preparation of the big trees for their debut. These were all trained, licensed arborists and no one, staff or volunteer, would have permitted anything possibly damaging to our crown jewels trees.

We're glad you enjoyed seeing it and thank you for your concern.

 

More Trees Questions

Damage to native elm in Texas
August 20, 2008 - We had a major landscape renovation done over the winter. One of the trees, an elm about 10 yrs old, remained in the bed although plants around it were removed. The tree has suddenly started turning...
view the full question and answer

Shoots sprouting around base of liveoak tree
April 18, 2008 - I have a Live Oak that was planted in my yard about 15 years ago. In the last several years, small shoots have been sprouting up around the tree base, are getting more dense and spreading into the gr...
view the full question and answer

Pruning Bald Cypress in Wylie, TX
January 02, 2010 - I have a 6 year old bald cypress that sustained damage to the upper portion of its trunk a couple of years ago. Since that time it has grown more outward than upward and developed a rounder shape. I...
view the full question and answer

When is Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) mature
October 08, 2007 - Can you tell me the life cycle for the native Texas mesquite? I have found one source that says it matures in 2-5 years, but no other sources confirm this. We are hoping to classify mesquite flooring ...
view the full question and answer

Landscape Fabric for Oak Suckers in Austin
February 11, 2015 - Can landscape fabric (covered w/decorative bark mulch) be safely used to control Escarpment oak sprouts? 70-year-old knees are tired of getting down to remove. Oaks are in Circle C area of Austin
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