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

Thursday - September 05, 2013

From: Tucson, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants, Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Problems with non-native Chinaberry tree from Tucson AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 30+ year old Chinaberry tree and this year the branches are much sparser with leaves and there are a lot of small dead branches. Should I fertilize and what should I use? Thank you

ANSWER:

Frankly, we would prefer that you either let it die, or have it cut down. Please see this article from the Plant Conservation Alliance Alien Plant Working Group on Chinaberry. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, home of Mr. Smarty Plants, is committed to the growth, propagation and protection of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown; in your case, Pima County, AZ. In addition to being non-native, it is extremely invasive because of the proliferation of seeds from the tree, some airborne by birds who eat the berries and take the seeds somewhere else to be invasive. And, since it is non-native, we would have no information on diseases and disorders it might have.

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Containing Japanese Wisteria Roots
November 22, 2015 - I have some Japanese wisteria plants that I would like to plant inside root barriers but I cannot find any info on how deep the roots go. Do you know if a 2 ft deep root barrier for trees can contain ...
view the full question and answer

When (and whether) to plant non-native red-tip photinia in Austin
October 30, 2011 - With the current and forecast drought I'm wondering if the usual rules about when to plant might change. I'd like to plant red-tip photinia.
view the full question and answer

Ivy a suitable ground cover in Live Oaks from Gulfport MS
April 17, 2014 - Will Ivy be a safe and suitable ground cover for old growth Live Oak trees in coastal Mississippi?
view the full question and answer

Question about non-native blue potato tree
July 08, 2008 - I have a blue potato tree that I planted last summer, the top looks dead but isn't, the bottom has grown into a bush, help what can I do?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Cuphea Plants
February 04, 2013 - The David Verity cuphea (cigar plants) that I planted last spring are now 3-4 feet high. I would like to move them, but before I do they seem to need pruning. All the branches are brown and dry lookin...
view the full question and answer

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