Contact Us Host an Event 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

Friday - October 05, 2007

From: Taylor, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Transplants, Trees
Title: Care of Styphnolobium affine, Eves necklace
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have an 18 yr old Eve's Necklace tree that is dying from the "bottom up". It has only a few leaves at the very top of the tree. I have, connected to the gutter, a rain barrel from which the excess water drains into the area around this tree. My concern is that the roots may have gotten too wet during our atypical monsoon this year. Is there anything I can do to save this tree? Thank you.

ANSWER:

It is very likely that the reason your Styphnolobium affine (Eve's necklacepod) (synonym = Sophora affinis) is dying is because of the excess water from the rain barrel overflow. As you can see from the Native Plant Database it needs well-drained soil. If you can find a way to change the direction of the rain barrel overflow so that the soil can dry out, you might have a chance of saving your tree still.

If you can't successfully eliminate the extra water flowing into the area of your tree, your best bet may be to move the tree. An 18-year-old tree is not going to be easy to move. Indeed, the shock of doing so could finish it off. However, if you should decide to do this you might like to read "Successfully Transplanting Established Trees" from the Agricultural Extension Service of the University of Tennessee.

Jill Noke's in "How to Grow Native Plants of Texas the Southwest" (2001. Austin: University of Texas Press) says:

"Eve's Necklace, S. affinis, is easiest to transplant in the winter because it often grows in deeper soil and is deciduous. When transplanting, obtain as large a root ball as possible. The plant should be cut back severely and kept well watered in a shady location."

 

More Trees Questions

Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
June 28, 2012 - My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?
view the full question and answer

Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
May 21, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
view the full question and answer

Are junipers tainting the soil in Loveland CO?
June 10, 2011 - Have several varieties of junipers around my yard. Each year I try to place a small garden in a corner of my yard, the plants don't do well at all. Growing up nearby, I gardened with my parents so ...
view the full question and answer

When does Ziziphus obtusifolia leaf and flower in Austin?
March 22, 2010 - Hello Mr. S.P., Do you know when the Texas buckthorn, Ziziphus obtusifolia (I believe), flowers (and leafs out) in Austin? Is there one at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

Will Cercis (Redbud) grow in Oregon?
July 25, 2013 - We live in Grants Pass, Oregon could Cercis grow here?
view the full question and answer

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