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 - July 13, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Escarpment Black Cherry losing leaves in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Dear Mr. Plants: We live in Austin off of Mount Bonnell Road. We have beautiful 20 foot tall + black escarpment cherry tree very near the house with leaves turning yellow like it's about to drop them all as it does in the fall. But it's July! We let a neighbor pay someone to vista view trim the top of it at the end of January. Is it possible that the trimming stressed the tree out. Do you think it's dying or temporarily just losing leaves because of the drought. We've started vigorously watering it now that we see the leaves turning. We don't want to lose it! Thanks!

ANSWER:

The Escarpment Black Cherry Prunus serotina var. eximia (Escarpment black cherry) is a handsome plant whose range is limited to the Edward’s Plateau in Central Texas, so it is relatively rare. This link provides some interesting info about this plant.

It is difficult to diagnose a plant problem from just a description, but the NPIN Profile sheet (see above ) describes the tree as being"drought deciduous", ie it loses its leaves under dry conditions. So the drought may be a contributing factor, and your increased watering plus the recent rains may be enough for the tree to start showing signs of recovery. Be aware though that plants can suffer from over watering as well as from under watering. (see greenthumbarticles.com , and  texasforestservice.tamu.edu ). Another source of help is the Travis County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension.

Have you considered letting your neighbor pay for a Certified Arborist to come visit your tree and make an analysis?

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problems with mature Blue Agave in Kenya
December 09, 2012 - I have a mature Agave plant and there is a thin black liquid that looks like oil starting to appear on the leaves. The plant plant seems to be dying (from the bottom up). (The plant is a blue Agave an...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees with rusty spots and holes on tree trunks
September 21, 2011 - I have live oak trees that have developed rusty spots, small holes on the tree trunks and sawdust on the trees base. They were planted in Oct 2010. We have had a hot dry summer in Texas this year an...
view the full question and answer

Florist Gloxinia Care
October 01, 2015 - Got a florist gloxinia and it was doing great for months. Went on vacation and returned; it was wilted. Think son watered it too much. Allowed it to dry. It has some new leaves forming on the very leg...
view the full question and answer

Diagnosis of problem with Parsley hawthorn
August 06, 2007 - I have a Crataegus marshallii (Parsley hawthorn) that is about 3 years old. It leafed out this spring and flowered lightly. As the summer has progressed, though, the leaves have been dropping premat...
view the full question and answer

Problems with maple in Denver
June 09, 2011 - I live in Denver, CO and planted an Autumn Blaze maple three years ago. It has done very well until about a week ago. The leaves are drying out and falling off and earlier today I noticed some bugs ...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center