Rent Shop 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

Sunday - July 02, 2006

From: Bowling Green, KY
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree ordinances re Magnolia Ladybird Johnson tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What exactly is a Ladybird Johnson tree? Also, is there any type of federal or state law(s) that prohibits the cutting, trimming or removal of a LadyBird Johnson tree? Thank you for your time!

ANSWER:

The Lady Bird Johnson Tree is a Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) that was propagated for Mrs. Johnson from the magnolia growing on the White House lawn. That magnolia was planted there in 1829 by President Andrew Jackson in memory of his wife Rachel. Mrs. Johnson took her specimens of the Jackson magnolia back to her Texas homes to grow. Offspring of the tree that Mrs. Johnson brought to Texas, the Lady Bird Johnson Tree, are now offered for sale by American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit conservation organization, in its Famous & Historic Trees program. The Jackson magnolia is shown on the back of the "old" $20 bill standing near the portico in the picture of the White House.

There be may local or state ordinances regarding the cutting of Magnolia grandiflora, but I doubt that there are laws that specifically relate to the Lady Bird Johnson Tree. You can read more about arboriculture law.
 

More Trees Questions

Pruning Saucer Magnolia in Eatontown, NJ.
January 12, 2013 - Adult Saucer Magnolia (tulip tree). Branches were getting heavy to where they were ready to break. I pruned them back leaving 1 to 3 inch diameter cuts on many branches. Should I put something on th...
view the full question and answer

Ecosysystem with pecan at center from Austin
February 21, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I would like to create a native tree guild around a mature pecan. It shares its space with native shrubs and ephemerals but I would like to add a nitrogen fixing plant. I am...
view the full question and answer

Looking for Manzanita (Mt. Diablo variety)
April 19, 2009 - Hi, We live in the Alhambra Valley area; in the country between Martinez and Lafayette/Orina. Can you tell me where I can purchase Manzanita, preferably Mt. Diablo variety if possible? I've aske...
view the full question and answer

Fast growing native trees for firewood in New Hampshire
September 25, 2008 - Can you tell me what FAST growing tree is best for a planned crop? We plan to generate new tree crops every year. We want to use this wood for burning in indoor wood stoves and maybe in an outdoor woo...
view the full question and answer

Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
September 25, 2011 - I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
view the full question and answer

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