En Español

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

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

Will a gift yucca survive in Northwest Arkansas?
June 28, 2011 - Had received a yucca tree as a gift and wondering if it will survive in the ground here in northwest Arkansas. It has a complete tropical look compared to my regular yucca plants. I believe it's actu...
view the full question and answer

Trimming oak threatening fence in California
July 21, 2008 - I live in Diamond Springs,California,I have a large oak tree growing between my neighbors' house and mine. A large branch is cracked and in danger of falling on my fence,I would like to lighten it up...
view the full question and answer

Problems with tuliptree in North Salem IN
September 02, 2009 - I have a tulip tree and it looks like it is dying. The limbs are starting to turn bright blue. Do I have an insect problem or is it from a lightning strike?
view the full question and answer

Propagation of redbuds from shoots in St. Louis MO
July 17, 2009 - I have a beautiful, healthy old redbud tree that I love. Every year, I find baby redbud trees rooted all over my yard, Since they are deep, I can't seem to dig them out so I simply cut them down to...
view the full question and answer

Ash tree dying back to lower sprouts in Kempner TX
June 19, 2010 - My 2 year old ash tree leaves dropped, appears dead, branches dying. New growth near base of tree. Do I cut upper trunk or remove entire tree? My other ash is doing well.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center