En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
view the full question and answer

Damage to native elm in Texas
August 20, 2008 - We had a major landscape renovation done over the winter. One of the trees, an elm about 10 yrs old, remained in the bed although plants around it were removed. The tree has suddenly started turning...
view the full question and answer

Possibility of oak wilt in red oak in Austin
December 25, 2010 - I planted a Red oak tree in Austin January 2008. It was container grown but decent size, over 15ft tall. This summer (2010) its leaves turned color as if it were fall and started dropping. I starte...
view the full question and answer

Tree Lost Leaves
September 05, 2013 - Are leaf cutter ants found in Michigan too? My leaves are being completely stripped off the tree. It went from growing very well when we planted it, to having completely no leaves at all. I know the l...
view the full question and answer

Further question on sprouts from holly tree in Surprise AZ
November 16, 2010 - Thank you Barbara Medford for your response to my question about the sprouting holly tree in Surprise AZ. I took for granted that the tree I was talking about was a holly tree. I looked at pictures of...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center