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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

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!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
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Thursday - June 25, 2009

From: Simi Valley, CA
Region: California
Topic: Non-Natives
Title: Non-native carrotwood tree in Simi Valley CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a beautiful 40+ foot carrotwood tree that has been covered with small nut-like pods growing in bunches. They are a mess. Is there a spray that controls/eliminates this problem?

ANSWER:

You don't need a spray, you need a hatchet. Quick, quick, get that tree out of your landscape and your life. Those nut-like pods are seeds, incredibly messy, as you already know, and they are being eaten by birds, who then sow them wherever, they will lie on the ground and kill your grass, and the tree itself is an invasive weed. At the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, we are devoted to promoting plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they are being grown. This plant is the poster child for invasive non-natives. It originated in Australia, Indonesia and New Guinea. We suggest that while you wait for the bulldozer to arrive, you read the following articles about places, including California, where it is already a menace. 

Plant Conservation Allliance Alien Plant Working Group Least Wanted Cupaniopsis anacardioides

Texas Invasives cupaniopsis anacardioides

Los Angeles Times Tree of the Week: Carrotwood Tree

 

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