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

Friday - February 11, 2005

From: San Marcos, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Pruning a Wafer Ash to make it upright
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

How do I trim a Wafer Ash? It lays on the ground. Is that normal? Does it need to be upright?

ANSWER:

it is not uncommon for a wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata) to droop. It is perfectly fine for it to grow along the ground if you like it that way. However, if you don't want it to do this, it is possible to shape it. It may take considerable pruning and patience to achieve a more upright tree depending on the size of the tree and the severity of the problem.

You can see some hints for pruning the wafer ash from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Horticulture Department.

 

From the Image Gallery


Wafer ash
Ptelea trifoliata

Wafer ash
Ptelea trifoliata

Wafer ash
Ptelea trifoliata

More Pruning Questions

How can I control underground runners from from Pride of Houston Yaupons in Austin, TX?
July 16, 2010 - How can I control the underground runners from the Pride of Houston Yaupons?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Spruce Pine (Prunus glabra)
September 02, 2015 - I have a Pinus glabra/spruce pine that is approx. 7' tall. It's limbs are few and some have been broken. Will trimming back the longer limbs to give it a Christmas shape harm this tree?
view the full question and answer

Pruning Citrus Suckers
October 06, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants, you are the only person that has "not" insisted that the little balls on Satsuma and lemon trees were clumps of bugs. They are surely what you described in the answer to my previo...
view the full question and answer

Arrows and Hunting Dogs in Kentucky
December 09, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants--Is it normal for our arrowwood viburnum to give off a musky odour in the late fall? The smell reminds me of a wet hunting dog.
view the full question and answer

Winter pruning for yucca in Michigan
November 10, 2008 - I live in SE Michigan and have an outdoor yucca plant that has grown quite large. My father tells me that I can literally cut it down to the ground in the fall and that it will grow back the followin...
view the full question and answer

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