Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Wednesday - June 05, 2013

From: Lampasas, TX
Region: Select Region
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Treating scarred Gum Bumelia from Lampasas TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a very old Gum Bumelia with a scarred open tree trunk. In the past concrete was used to fill the scarred trunk. What is the acceptable method of helping the tree. More concrete or using black pruning sealant???

ANSWER:

 Sideroxylon lanuginosum (Gum bumelia) is not a very big tree ordinarily and is considered a "pest tree" in some localities. However, we respect the fact that you would like to preserve your old tree if you can. This member of the Mr. Smarty Plants Team grew up in West Texas, where there were few trees, with or without holes, so we have no personal experience in the matter.

We have to be honest, our first reaction to this question was "You're kidding, right?" But we did some research and discovered that this was once a common practice. Read this paper on Tree Surgery and the Concrete Cure. However, it was published by Concrete International, so it might not be totally impartial.

Moving on, we found some more articles that addressed the subject:

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer  on filling hole in tree with concrete.

From Gardening Know How Filling Holes in Tree Trunks

Califonia Garden Clubs, Inc. Do Not Fill Tree Cavities with Concrete

and, finally, the one we think makes the most sense -

Texas !&M AgriLIFE Extension Tree Care Kit

Whether  you want to do this yourself or engage a licensed arborist to make repairs or recommendations, you are the one that will have to make the decision. It will be necessary to weigh the costs and difficulties of treating the hole against the possibility that the tree will not survive much longer, no matter what you do.

 

From the Image Gallery


Gum bumelia
Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Gum bumelia
Sideroxylon lanuginosum

Gum bumelia
Sideroxylon lanuginosum

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Burning sulfur over coals in the home for insect control.
July 18, 2008 - Is burning sulfur(over hot coals) in your home a safe way of getting rid of ants and insects?
view the full question and answer

Possible causes for plant problems in East Texas
September 06, 2007 - I have been an avid gardener for over 35 years in Texas.I love the wildflowers and use them extensively in my 2 acre plot here in East Texas. There is something really bad going on with my garden: pl...
view the full question and answer

Beautyberry Dying Back
August 06, 2015 - I've got an American Beautyberry which I planted in the spring. It's now about 2-3 feet tall and has 3 trunks (or limbs). It's in an area which gets about 5 hours of direct sun per day and I've be...
view the full question and answer

Care and fruiting time of pumpkins
October 06, 2007 - This is my first year growing pumpkin. I have a good vine with flowers now & then, but I still don't see a little pumpkin forming. What am I doing wrong?
view the full question and answer

Black Sooty Mold on Bay Tree
February 25, 2013 - I have a large bay tree and all the leaves are covered with a black mold-like substance on the top part of the leaf. Under each leaf are some black/brown spots. I have washed the leaves with soap and ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.