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

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

QUESTION:

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

ANSWER:

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 Trees Questions

Pruning Roughleaf dogwood
November 28, 2013 - We put 5 rough-leaf dogwoods along our side deck; having been told (by the local, natural plant seller) that they would reach a maximum height of 6 feet. They have grown taller than that (despite som...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with red feathery leaves
March 08, 2012 - What is the name of a tree with dark red leaves, feathery, slim trunk; maybe in the pepper family? Jedi?
view the full question and answer

Junipers for restoring area in Bulverde TX
November 03, 2012 - Are ashe or virginiana junipers for sale around the hill country? I would like to recreate the natural plant life that was bulldozed next to my home. Do you recommend any other types of juniper that ...
view the full question and answer

Trees for townhome backyard in Fullerton, CA
August 15, 2009 - Hi, I live in a townhome with a big backyard here in Orange County. Last year, I got rid of my ficus trees that had grown too tall and big for a townhome backyard. Now, I would like to plant two tre...
view the full question and answer

Should I Prune Oak Trees in February in Wisconsin?
February 17, 2011 - I need to cut some oak branches but am worried about oak wilt. You told an earlier questioner not to cut in February. I live in Wisconsin and it has been very cold lately. Am I okay to cut the bran...
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