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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 - November 14, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Pruning non-native peach trees in Austin
Answered by: Janice Kvale

QUESTION:

I have 2 peach trees that are 2 years old. Last year I pruned them in February and do not want to prune them again this year. I want to cut the little sucker limbs off of them this year. When can I do this and what is the best thing to use to help them heal over?

ANSWER:

A popular stone fruit, peaches have been grown in Texas for about 100 years. However, peach trees grown for fruit in the United States are all cultivars of introduced non-native trees. For instance, Prunus persica, peach, probably originated in China and then was introduced to the Mediterranean before being brought to North America. Since our focus and expertise here at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is with plants native to North America, we can't really be much help with advice for cultivated fruit trees. But, do not despair, there are multiple internet sites describing care for peach trees. Try this article from Texas A&M University Horticulture on Pruning Peach Trees. From the Virginia Cooperative Extension comes this one on the same subject, and from Clemson University Extension, Pruning Peaches and Nectarines.

Enjoy those peaches!

 

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