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 Invasive Plants Questions

Plant around Pittsburg from Weirton WV
September 19, 2009 - I have seen this plant outside of the Pittsburgh,PA area and was told it is called Midnight Cowboy. It has bright yellow flowers and long green leaves that only comes out at night(so I am told). Ca...
view the full question and answer

Non-flowering mimosas in Texas
July 08, 2008 - I have two mimosa trees, about 3 years old. Both were grown from volunteer seedlings. Neither have flowers nor have they produced seed pods. Are they too young or do they need a source of pollenation...
view the full question and answer

List of North American plants grown in other countries
August 17, 2008 - I am working on a childrens story and would like to let the teachers who read this book know where some of the native plants in my book grow throughout the world, or if they grow outside of the USA. p...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on native plants
March 26, 2004 - What is a native species?
view the full question and answer

Viability of Ehretia anacua tree for Austin, TX
January 17, 2008 - I live in Austin, TX and I see you've recommended the Ehretia anacua tree for someone living here. Also, my arborist mentioned it as a replacement for non-native, invasive trees. However, the databas...
view the full question and answer

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