Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Saturday - August 09, 2014

From: Santa fe, NM
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Treating splits in a Cottonwood tree trunk
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

How to treat slipts in trunk of 4 year old Cottonwood tree.

ANSWER:

Having never seen a slipt in a Populus fremontii (Fremont cottonwood) trunk, I am betting that you meant "split" in the bark.  If so, you shouldn't worry too much if the splits are small.  This web site gives some suggestions as to how you can treat bark splits so as to minimize any damage.  At the age of 4 years, your tree may be simply forming the fissured bark that characterizes older cottonwoods.

If your problem is splits in the trunk wood itself this could be a more serious thing.  The most likely cause in Arizona would be sun scald.  Another web site offers suggestions for treating splits in living wood.  Such splits, if small, will probably heal on their own.

You are probably aware that cottonwoods require a lot of water.  Is it possible that you have not been giving your young tree enough?  Drought stress might be a cause of splitting.

 

More Trees Questions

Possible identification of Physocarpus opulifolius
June 11, 2007 - Can you please tell me what kind of tree has a maple leaf and a white snowball flower?The young and very small tree was already here when i bought my home,it stands only 7 feet tall with a 2 inch t...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen in California
May 31, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smartypants, We are first-time home-buyers of a cute little house and a relatively large lot in Pacific Grove, CA. Unfortunately the neighbors to the north have built a second story with a nic...
view the full question and answer

Looking for juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) for sale
December 05, 2008 - Does anyone know anyone that sells Juniper trees in pots - the central Texas kind.
view the full question and answer

No acorns on mature live oak in Little Rock AR
April 18, 2010 - Why does my very large mature live oak have no acorns?
view the full question and answer

Lifespan of Screwbean mesquite from Amargosa Valley NV
March 15, 2012 - I see the lifespan of the honey mesquite but not the screwbean (especially in the southern Nevada area - Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge area). What is their normal lifespan?
view the full question and answer

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