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 Pests Questions

Tiny beetles eating a native plant in Austin, TX.
April 15, 2014 - Help! Found plant devoured in my wildflower garden! Covered with literally thousand of small black bronze beetles. They are on other plants but the other plants (native poppies, coneflower, coreops...
view the full question and answer

Lopidea on Texas Mountain Laurel
March 10, 2016 - How do I get rid of lopidea on mountain laurel?
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Evergreens for Pennsylvania Woods
March 12, 2015 - We are looking for evergreens that will grow in a partially shaded/wooded area and are ideally deer resistant. Hemlocks are out because of a parasite infestation in our area of Pennsylvania.
view the full question and answer

Black walnut herbivory
June 13, 2005 - We moved to Texas just about a year ago and have loved it here. This past January we visited the Wildflower Center and obtained some black walnut seeds. Up until last night the tree was doing well p...
view the full question and answer

Possible damage by invasive, non-native earthworms in compost
January 03, 2007 - I received a worm bin (vermicomposter) for Christmas. The instructions that came with the bin say to use the red wiggler worm (Eisenia foetida) and that it is okay if some of the worms go into your g...
view the full question and answer

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