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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Saturday - January 12, 2013

From: Eatontown, NJ
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on the cuts or cover the cuts so that they don't rot?

ANSWER:

There are are 8 Magnolia species listed in our Native Plant Database , but Saucer Magnolia is not among them because it is a Hybrid.

These two links will tell you more about your plant.

   about.com

   missouribotanicalgarden.org

Painting the cuts on trees with pruning paint used to be highly recommended. Today, the tendency is to leave them unpainted. To learn more about pruning, check out these three links:

   purdue.edu 

   ces.ncsu.edu

   washington.umd.edu

 

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