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

Thursday - June 28, 2012

From: Palmdale, CA
Region: California
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Goat damage to Arizona Cypress from Palmdale CA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My goats stripped the bottom branches of my Arizona Cypress. Will they come back and how can I prevent future damage?

ANSWER:

Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress)  is native to Fresno and San Diego Counties, but not Los Angeles County, according to this USDA Plant Profile Map. However, we feel sure it will do well in your area. We don't know if an eaten area of trunk will regrow foliage, but doubt it would be this year, perhaps in the Spring. Follow the plant link to our webpage on the tree to learn about its water and light needs, as well as growing conditions. From that webpage: "Conditions Comments: Arizona cypress is drought-tolerant, fast-growing and relatively short-lived (30-50 years)." If the area that is affected is not too large, it probably wouldn't affect this tree.

However, if the goat is snacking on the bark, that is another matter. From the website Homesteading Today, we found this question and answer:

"Why are my goats eating the bark off my trees?

I have only had the goats/sheep (2 goats, 2 sheep, 3 wethers, and one ewe) for about 6 months and they have been living off the 2+ with about a pound of gain per day. My question is are they not getting enough food? Or is this what goats do? They are eating the bark off some 40 year old Fir trees and I'm concerned. Will they Kill the 3 trees?"
Answer: "That is part of their normal diet. Yes, they can kill the trees.
I sure hope you have hay out full time / free choice for them.
Goats who aren't being milked don't need the grain, but they do need good quality hay."
From goatworld.com an article Plants that Goats Won't Eat
As for your last question about preventing future damage? We know very little about the Cupressus arizonica (Arizona cypress) and absolutly nothing about goats, but after reading the articles we would say future damage will be prevented by fencing in the tree or fencing out the goat, which actually is the same thing.

 

 

More Pests Questions

Possible sawflies on loblolly pine (Pinus taeda)
May 03, 2011 - My pine trees looked great a week ago, now one from top to bottom is almost without needles. It is covered with greenish caterpillars. They have several stripes down their back . Could these be saw fl...
view the full question and answer

Landscaping for slope in Kansas City
October 08, 2008 - We have a down sloping back yard and patio on the lower area. We need some water absorbing plants near the foundation and some in the front of the house, where water isn't a problem. We are allergic ...
view the full question and answer

Vines free from cutter ants from Caldwell TX
November 14, 2012 - What are some climbing vines cutter ants won't eat
view the full question and answer

Need help with a Coreopsis eating beetle in Shiro, TX
April 20, 2011 - Mr.Smarty Plants,(Sorry, I kept messing up with my emails) Anyway, here goes: I usually have a beautiful meadow full of lanceleaf coreopsis blooming by now. Not this year. I found to my horror every s...
view the full question and answer

Removing grassy weeds from cactus garden in Corpus Christi TX
May 07, 2013 - How do you get grassy weeds out of a cactus garden? I don't want to use roundup around the cacti? Can you recommend a herbicide that won't harm the cactus?
view the full question and answer

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