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

Friday - August 16, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Damage to cedar elm from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a cedar elm next to the corner of our house that has been dropping lots and lots of twigs with green leaves over the past 3 weeks, while our other elms have not. These rapidly pile up on the patio and we worry about the health of this tree. Can you help us identify what might be the problem? We hope it's just squirrel activity, but have never seen this is the 15 years we have been here. We live in Circle C, across the highway from the Wildflower Center

ANSWER:

We have just answered a very similar question, also from Austin, written by a Mr. Smarty Plants Team member with personal experience with the problem. Since he says this is a short-term problem causing no permanent problems for the tree, we hope you can relax. We  are guessing the squirrels have easier access to that particular tree because of the proximity of the roof. Unfortunately, this works both ways - they also have easy access to your roof and attic. And this comes from someone who has had personal experiences with squirrels in the attic. You might want to check on that; squirrels can do a lot of damage and raise families in the shelter of an attic.

 

More Trees Questions

Vehicle friendly oak trees for Austin
March 30, 2008 - Do Chinquapins, Shumards or Live Oaks produce lots of tree sap? I'm looking for a vehicle friendly Oak tree to be installed in parking areas in Austin, Texas.
view the full question and answer

Leaf problems on oaks in North Liberty IA
June 12, 2010 - My oak trees (young and old) are showing leaf problems. Is there a disease or insect causing oak tree disease?
view the full question and answer

Being over run by sugar hackberry saplings in Austin, TX.
October 06, 2010 - I have recently bought a house that has a woefully neglected yard. The sugar hackberry had saplings everywhere, and I paid to have them removed, but to no avail. My real concern is the saplings growin...
view the full question and answer

Trimming a bur oak in Llano, TX
February 06, 2009 - We have a beautiful, large Burr Oak next to our house. This tree has many large lateral branches. I have trimmed dead branches, but no other trimming. It grows a lot of "suckers" during growing sea...
view the full question and answer

What grows in Tampa FL
July 01, 2013 - Please let me know what grows in the backyard in Tampa, FL to provide screening and privacy?
view the full question and answer

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