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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 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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Tuesday - October 01, 2013

From: Fraser, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Transplants, Trees
Title: Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to the growth, protection and propagation of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which those plants are being grown; in your case, Macomb County MI. This tree is native to Japan, Korea and China and therefore falls out of our range of expertise. This article from the Missouri Botanical Garden on Acer palmatum (Japanese maple) indicates that the tree is viable in USDA Hardiness Zones 5 to 8, and we found that Macomb County MI is in Zone 6a. We did note that it is recommended that it be shielded from harsh winds, but no suggestion that it be wrapped in burlap. However, the referenced article also says it may suffer damage from late Spring frosts, possibly after the first leaves have begun to come out.

 

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