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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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Friday - October 03, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Problems with non-native navel orange
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Hello Green Guru, Question: Why hasn't Navel Orange Tree grown or sprouted new branches? It's 3 years old and is about 5 feet tall and has remained this size. It hasn't grown at all. It only has drops it's leaves in the winter and regrows them in the spring. Can you please explain what could be happening and what can I do to make it grow, so we can enjoy some fruit?

ANSWER:

Due to the large volume of questions Mr. Smarty Plants has been receiving, we are asking that questions be confined to plants native to North America, which is the focus of the work done by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.The orange tree is a native of Southeast Asia, and has been extensively hybridized, far out of the range of our expertise. You might check this previous answer for some possible sources of information. Also, we suggest contacting your Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Office for Travis County
 

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