En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Problem with flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolatta)

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

Monday - July 14, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Problem with flameleaf sumac (Rhus lanceolatta)
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My Flameleaf Sumac appears to have an insect infestation in the bark which oozes a sappy sticky substance. This has apparently caused one of the limbs to die. Will it kill the whole plant and is there anything I can do?

ANSWER:

At the Wildflower Center we have noted cicadas ovipositing in the Rhus lanceolata (prairie sumac) tree trunks and limbs causing a lot of oozing sap and killing some limbs. This might be the cause of your problem. In extreme cases, it could kill the tree and because sumacs are prone to fungal diseases, it would definitely make them more prone to disease problems. Prevention is the best way to treat the problem of cicadas ovipositing—some people put small-mesh netting over their small, vulnerable trees in mid summer to fend off cicadas. At the Wildflower Center we have no shortage of sumacs and since they are relatively short-lived trees anyway, we do not treat them since they are easy to replace. You might contact the Travis County Agricultural Extension Service office to see if they have had other reports of cicada damage or any other types of damage in sumac trees and how to treat it. Here is some information about periodical cicadas.

 


Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

Rhus lanceolata

 

 

More Trees Questions

Possible webbing bark lice on oak tree
August 08, 2008 - We live near the Center and have a large live oak tree in our yard. Recently the lower trunk has been covered with thin, white weblike material (not sure if spider web). What could this be and is it d...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Screen of Thuja Occidentalis on fire-damaged property in Bastrop TX
May 04, 2013 - I want to plant a screen of Thuja Occidentalis on the east side of our driveway. It is in the burn area of Bastrop, TX. None of our trees survived. Will Thuja Occidentalis grow here? I saw some specim...
view the full question and answer

Is it normal for the bark to fall off an oak tree in Austin, TX
May 02, 2013 - Is it normal for live oak bark to fall off when touched? I am afraid to get near them?
view the full question and answer

Northern Catalpa Tree Doing Poorly
July 02, 2014 - One of our Northern Catalpa trees appears to be dying. It is about 28 feet tall and this year only about 1/3 of it is producing leaves. It is next to our largest Catalpa tree (about 65 feet tall and a...
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