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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!

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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.

 

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