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

Tuesday - December 16, 2008

From: Pasadena, CA
Region: California
Topic: Trees
Title: Trees resistant to Armillaria mellea, root fungus
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We had to bring down a 200 year old oak which root system was compromised by Armillaria mellea. We were told the fungus is still present in the soil & it's advisable to plant a resistant species. We're looking to find a native (or non-invasive) faster growing tree that will do well in the hotter and hotter climate of the region and be able to shade the south east face of our house. Any recommendations?

ANSWER:

First of all, here is information about Armillaria mellea and similar fungi from the  U. S. Forest Service, Forest Pathology.org and the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program of the University of California Extension.  The U.S. Forest Service and Forest Pathology recommend removing stumps and as many of the roots as possible of affected trees before planting new trees.  All three of the sources above agree that the use of resistant species is one of the most effective means of controlling the fungus.

The University of California Davis has a list of plants that are highly resistant to Armillaria mellea and there is an extensive list showing plants that are resistant, or susceptible, to Armillaria mellea from Chase Horticultural Research.  Many of the plants on these two lists are not native to California and North America and we would not recommend any of those.  However, here are ones that are native and occur in Los Angeles County, or an adjacent county, that we would recommend:

Acacia farnesiana (sweet acacia)

Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash)

Arbutus menziesii (Pacific madrone) and photo

Prunus ilicifolia (hollyleaf cherry) and photos

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (common elderberry)

Shepherdia argentea (silver buffaloberry)


Acacia farnesiana

Fraxinus velutina

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis

Shepherdia argentea

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Privacy screen from Temecula CA
May 04, 2013 - I live in Temecula and need a fast growing tree by our pool that is good to block neighbors house.
view the full question and answer

Rocky Mountain Juniper Grazed by Deer
April 29, 2013 - I have four Colorado red cedar (Juniperus scopulorum). The deer have eaten from their height down. Now these narrow top to bottom evergreens have only tops left. Will the bottom fill in if I protect t...
view the full question and answer

Mountain laurel with fasciation
July 24, 2014 - My Texas Mountain Laurel bush has developed several "crested branches." What causes this, is it harmful & how do I get rid of them??? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Killing regrowing shoots of a downed hackberry tree
June 28, 2013 - Hackberry plants won't die. You and others have suggested to cut the suckers or saplings to get rid of them. Over the years I have continued to cut the same saplings and the only thing I have now ar...
view the full question and answer

Small trees for Alberta
March 17, 2011 - I would like to know if there is a short, 15 feet and under, deciduous tree that can be grown outside in Calgary, AB
view the full question and answer

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