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
2 ratings

Monday - April 28, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Round growths on Mexican buckeye
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have two pink buckeyes next to each other in my yard. The branches on one are completely covered in brown, round growths about the size of a pill bug. The other tree has none. Can you tell me what they are and if its a problem for the tree?

ANSWER:

I am supposing your trees are Ungnadia speciosa (Mexican buckeyes), but I haven't been able to find any pests or diseases that are associated with this species. In fact, Florida Cooperative Extension Service says "No pests or diseases are of major concern." However, the growths on your one tree sound like galls. Although they can be caused by fungi, nematodes and bacteria, they are most commonly caused by insects. The female insect lays its egg on the plant and the plant, usually a tree, reacts by producing a growth around the egg that isolates it. The insect larvae that hatches from the egg grows by feeding on the substance of the gall and then chewing its way out to continue its life.

Although they may be unsightly, galls are not considered seriously harmful to the tree. Using insecticides for controlling the insects after the galls have been formed is not effective since the pests are protected inside the gall.

It is interesting that one tree has galls and the other hasn't.


Ungnadia speciosa

Ungnadia speciosa

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Yellowing foliage on a lemon cypress from St. Charles MO
May 22, 2011 - I recently received a lemon cypress tree as a gift. After about a month we transplanted it outside and the foliage turned from a light green to a yellow color. Is this normal? The tree doesn't app...
view the full question and answer

Salvia, geum transplant shock symptoms
July 21, 2006 - I need some help. I transplanted 2 xeriscape plants and they are not doing well. 1 is Pitcher Sage-sorry I don't know botanical name; the other is White Avens. The've grown a lot but all the leave...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees with rusty spots and holes on tree trunks
September 21, 2011 - I have live oak trees that have developed rusty spots, small holes on the tree trunks and sawdust on the trees base. They were planted in Oct 2010. We have had a hot dry summer in Texas this year an...
view the full question and answer

Yaupon in bonsai failing to thrive in Lufkin TX
July 16, 2009 - Hi,I have a yaupon that I've turned into a bonsai. It's been producing new vegetation until about a month ago. Then all of a sudden the branches started drooping and the leaf tips started turning bl...
view the full question and answer

Reason for tree canopy dieback from Mahopac NY
May 21, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Not a questions, just sharing, re person in Texas whose Ash Jupiter appeared to be dying "canopy very thin on top". We moved to Putnam Co. NY in 1970. Our house was shaded by...
view the full question and answer

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