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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 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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Tuesday - July 31, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Demise of Flameleaf Sumac in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My Flameleaf Sumac suddenly died. Beetles came out around the trunk when I cut it down. How can I prevent this on the other sumac?

ANSWER:

Flame-leaf Sumac Rhus lanceolata (Prairie flameleaf sumac)  is a small deciduous tree with outstanding fall foliage that lives up to the name “flame-leaf”. It is described as a relatively fast growing tree, heat- cold- and drought tolerant, and generally pest and disease free.

Were  there any major changes in the tree’s environment that precede its demise?

 Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you contact the folks at the Travis County office of Texas AgriLife Extension to have someone look at your tree and perhaps identify the beetles that you found. If they are the culprit, then some insecticide may be needed to protect your other Sumac.

 

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