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

Thursday - June 28, 2012

From: Palmdale, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford


My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?


Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress)  is native to Fresno and San Diego Counties, but not Los Angeles County, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map. However, we feel sure it will do well in your area. We don't know if an eaten area of trunk will regrow foliage, but doubt it would be this year, perhaps in the Spring. Follow the plant link to our webpage on the tree to learn about its water and light needs, as well as growing conditions. From that webpage: "Conditions Comments: Arizona cypress is drought-tolerant, fast-growing and relatively short-lived (30-50 years)." If the area that is affected is not too large, it probably wouldn't affect this tree.

However, if the goat is snacking on the bark, that is another matter. From the website Homesteading Today, we found this question and answer:

"Why are my goats eating the bark off my trees?

I have only had the goats/sheep (2 goats, 2 sheep, 3 wethers, and one ewe) for about 6 months and they have been living off the 2+ with about a pound of gain per day. My question is are they not getting enough food? Or is this what goats do? They are eating the bark off some 40 year old Fir trees and I'm concerned. Will they Kill the 3 trees?"
Answer: "That is part of their normal diet. Yes, they can kill the trees.
I sure hope you have hay out full time / free choice for them.
Goats who aren't being milked don't need the grain, but they do need good quality hay."
From goatworld.com an article Plants that Goats Won't Eat
As for your last question about preventing future damage? We know very little about the Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) and absolutly nothing about goats, but after reading the articles we would say future damage will be prevented by fencing in the tree or fencing out the goat, which actually is the same thing.



More Pests Questions

Something eating holes in Texas Betony from Austin
June 06, 2012 - What pest is eating holes in the leaves of my Texas Betonys? They look healthy but almost all leaves have various sizes of round holes in them. What is the best cure for this? Thanks
view the full question and answer

Bugs on yucca plant in New Jersey
August 06, 2008 - I noticed small bugs ALL OVER 4 established yucca plants all near each other. They may look like Halticotoma valida but I'm not positive. There is no brown on the leaves except for the large amount...
view the full question and answer

Plants good for repelling bugs in Austin, TX
April 18, 2007 - I need help on what type of plants or herbs are good for keeping bugs away from the house and also something that would be good for in the house for bugs?
view the full question and answer

Identity of tiny green spiders found in Sego lilies
July 14, 2015 - Hi - I'm wondering if you can identify for me the name of the tiny green spiders that can be found inside Sego Lilies (Calochortus nuttallii). I have a photo if that would be helpful. Thanks!! Ca...
view the full question and answer

Control of borers attacking Prunus serotina
August 30, 2006 - Where can I find information to control borers that seem to attack only Prunus serotina v. exemia?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center