En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 12, 2007

From: Greensboro, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to stop it?

ANSWER:

The population of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) in Canada and the United States is being severely threatened by a fungal disease, butternut canker, Sirococcus clavigignenti-juglandacearum, but from your description this doesn't sound like your trees' problem. The bumpiness you describe sounds like work of an insect or other small invertebrate such as the eriophyid mite, Aceria cinereae. The bumps these creatures create on leaves are called galls. In general, leaf galls do no serious harm to trees, though they may cause rather unsightly deformities. Some serious infestations can cause significant leaf-drop, but otherwise healthy trees will produce new leaves and show little ill-effect. Another possibility is the walnut anthracnose or leaf blotch (Gnomonia leptostyla or Marssonia juglandis).

Considering the increasing rarity of the butternut tree, you would be well-advised to seek the help of a certified arborist to help you decide how to treat the disease and save your trees.


 

More Trees Questions

Safe time to trim live oak trees
June 20, 2008 - Our live oak trees need a little trimming, as some of the branches are hanging too low, almost to the ground. We planted them about 5 years ago, so they are well established, healthy trees. My husband...
view the full question and answer

Native substitute for traditional Christmas tree
December 01, 2007 - Could you give some recommendations for a substitute of the traditional Christmas tree used during the holiday season? The low light/humidity conditions in the home is a challenge under any circumsta...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting yaupon (Ilex vomitoria) trees, concern about cultivars
February 06, 2008 - I would like to place some yaupon in the perimeter areas of my yard. I own other rural property that has an abundance of yaupon and was considering trying to transplant some small bushes. Is yaupon ...
view the full question and answer

Native alternative for Japanese Red Maple in Oklahoma
October 12, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I am looking for a native alternative to a Japanese Red Maple. I would like a small tree that I can put in my front garden that will not pose a security risk my being overgrown and ...
view the full question and answer

Scrub oaks dropping limbs in Lexington TX
August 23, 2009 - We live in the country between Elgin and Lexington. One of our "scrub" oaks is dropping large limbs. On examination, the limbs have green leaves and they do not appear to be rotted. Do you think ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center