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

Friday - August 16, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Damage to cedar elm from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a cedar elm next to the corner of our house that has been dropping lots and lots of twigs with green leaves over the past 3 weeks, while our other elms have not. These rapidly pile up on the patio and we worry about the health of this tree. Can you help us identify what might be the problem? We hope it's just squirrel activity, but have never seen this is the 15 years we have been here. We live in Circle C, across the highway from the Wildflower Center

ANSWER:

We have just answered a very similar question, also from Austin, written by a Mr. Smarty Plants Team member with personal experience with the problem. Since he says this is a short-term problem causing no permanent problems for the tree, we hope you can relax. We  are guessing the squirrels have easier access to that particular tree because of the proximity of the roof. Unfortunately, this works both ways - they also have easy access to your roof and attic. And this comes from someone who has had personal experiences with squirrels in the attic. You might want to check on that; squirrels can do a lot of damage and raise families in the shelter of an attic.

 

More Trees Questions

Fast growing tree for pasture in Coolidge, Texas
August 03, 2009 - Hello, we purchased some land around Coolidge Tx., it has NO trees on it. This is open pasture land, can you suggest a fairly fast growing tree for shade? And if you know can you give us some names ...
view the full question and answer

Replacement for shade grass in El Paso TX
April 05, 2013 - We currently have a Honey Mesquite tree with thinning bermuda grass underneath in our front yard. I suspect that the filtered shade is killing the bermuda. I was thinking of planting Buffalo Grass, or...
view the full question and answer

Container plant to grow in late afternoon sun
July 02, 2011 - I have a shaded brick walkway that leads to my front door. It faces west, and can get very hot late afternoon Houston sun, although it is shaded for the remainder of the day. I have been successful ...
view the full question and answer

Native Christmas tree from Smithville TX
December 16, 2012 - I've always wanted to use a native tree as a Christmas tree. Do you have any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

White pine insect problems
October 08, 2009 - We live in The Woodlands TX. Some of our large pine trees have leaking sap and one is dead. What can we do to save the one's still alive?
view the full question and answer

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