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

Improving blooming on mock orange
March 03, 2008 - I have a now 6 yr. old mock orange shrub in the garden which has never bloomed, darn it. I have fed, not fed, mulched, not mulched, sheared, not sheared. What gives? Will it ever bloom, or shall I ...
view the full question and answer

Soapberry Transplant shock symptoms
July 21, 2006 - Please suggest a cause & cure for general yellowing of the leaves of Western Soapberry when planted in the ground 20 miles NW of Austin (thin, poor clay over limestone). Trees still in containers are...
view the full question and answer

Peach tree problems in Long Island, NY
June 16, 2008 - This year my peachtree is bearing fruit for the first time. I live in Long Island NY. I notice a sap on the bark near the soil. Also some leaves are getting disease looking and some peaches are loo...
view the full question and answer

Replacement Yaupon holly doing poorly in Pflugerville, TX
May 09, 2012 - I had to replace quite a few shrubs after the drought last year. I live in Austin, TX. I have planted 3 dwarf yaupon holly bushes in the exact same place where the previous three same type of shrubs...
view the full question and answer

Problems with sunflowers in Florida
November 03, 2006 - I planted sunflowers on the west side of my house where I have previously planted them and they grew wonderfully. These new ones, however, seem to be dying, (less than 2 weeks). I bought the plants at...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center