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

Tuesday - October 08, 2013

From: Madison, WI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Laws, Planting, Trees
Title: Law against planting cottonwood in Madison WI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I was told that there is an ordinance against planting cottonwood trees in Madison, WI. Is this true?

ANSWER:

You do realize you are asking someone in Austin, Texas about a local ordinance in the town where you live? Down here, the questions are usually whether it's against the law to pick the Texas State Flower, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) (there is not) or a law to prevent homeowner's associations from mowing native plants (also no). There are 9 species of the genus Populus (cottonwood) native to North America. The species Populus deltoides (Eastern cottonwood) is native to both Wisconsin and Texas. There is a lot of complaint about it in allergy season because many people are sensitive to the puffs of "cotton" that carries the seed.

We suggest that you contact the University of Wisconsin (also in Madison) Extension Office for Dane County. There is probably a more appropriate city office that you could call, but we don't know that, and you can bet the Extension Office will have the answer.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern cottonwood
Populus deltoides

Eastern cottonwood
Populus deltoides

Eastern cottonwood
Populus deltoides

More Planting Questions

Replacing non-native invasives with native grasses and wildflowers from Round Rock TX
April 04, 2012 - I have a small piece of property (1.5 AC) East of Austin, Texas that get's overgrown with weedy vegetation (johnson grass, dandelion, and some tall yellow flowering plant that I see all over the medi...
view the full question and answer

Best time to plant Habiturf in Austin
February 20, 2012 - When is the best time to plant Habiturf seeds?
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming Tecoma stans in Fredericksburg, TX
June 30, 2008 - We have an esperanza plant purchased last year from Walmart and planted outside before winter. It flowered excellently last year. Just before winter we cut it back to about a foot. So far this summer ...
view the full question and answer

Will Bittersweet climb on a streetlight pole?
February 05, 2015 - Will Bittersweet climb on a streetlight pole, or does it need to be with a tree?
view the full question and answer

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
view the full question and answer

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