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
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

Exposed area on native elm in Texas
December 26, 2008 - I have an elm tree starting to show signs of dying. It has an exposed area at the trunk of the tree turning white. When it rains there is a 6-inch strip (the width of the exposed area) running up th...
view the full question and answer

Problems with volunteer tree in Joshua TX
February 15, 2012 - I have a 'volunteer' tree which has been in our back yard for about 15 years. It has had the usual traumas, ie. lots of snow, ice, etc. but after last years drought, its bark is coming off and sev...
view the full question and answer

Habiturf installation after Take-All fungus
January 24, 2012 - Are other soil remedies needed (besides those listed in your Habiturf brochure) to install Habiturf on land which had a St. Augustine lawn which was decimated by take all patch.
view the full question and answer

Hibiscus wilt in Texas Star hibiscus
November 10, 2005 - I have a Texas star hibiscus on my deck. It flourished all summer, but not quite a month ago, the leaves turned yellow and fell off. Will it come back? What happened???
view the full question and answer

Problems getting desert western US plant Stanleya pinnata to bloom in England
March 13, 2006 - I am having trouble getting my Princes plume (Stanleya pinnata) to produce a flower and then go to seed. Do you have any advice on triggering flowering in this plant?
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