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

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

Transplant shock in my Nuttall Oak tree in Moore, OK.
July 23, 2009 - I had a Nutall oak tree planted; it is 5 inches in diameter and about 24 feet tall. It was planted in March of this year, leafed out ok; now since June 20th I have had a large quantity of the leaves t...
view the full question and answer

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Do I need to plant a male winterberry? yes
October 19, 2007 - I planted a female winterberry in early July & although I have been watering it regularly the leaves turned brown on the tips in Sept. No berries yet so will I have to plant a male? Thanks, Carol
view the full question and answer

Plants for oak shade from Whitney TX
December 24, 2012 - I live in Whitney, Texas and have a number of beautiful Live Oak trees in a portion of my yard providing deep shade. Asian Jasmine grows in about 5 ft circle around them and then nothing! I have walk ...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a tree to plant as a memorial in Leesburg, GA.
September 09, 2010 - I'm looking for tree to plant as memorial to my brother who died. It must be native, for South Georgia, zone 8, open fields. It should provide mast for wildlife. Heat zone 8, good drought-tolerance. ...
view the full question and answer

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