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

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

Smarty Plants on arborvitaes
March 28, 2005 - Hello, I live in Allentown, PA and have a 7-foot arborvitae shrub in my backyard, planted in the corner of the yard where a wood fence intersects with the brick wall of the garage. I have had ma...
view the full question and answer

Bird-friendly plants for the Texas coast
July 13, 2012 - I'm interested in starting a native plant garden, specifically with an eye towards providing food (either from the plants or insects that are attracted to the plants) for migratory birds. However, s...
view the full question and answer

Looking for juniper trees (Juniperus ashei) for sale
December 05, 2008 - Does anyone know anyone that sells Juniper trees in pots - the central Texas kind.
view the full question and answer

Obtaining bark of Larix laricina from Hyderabad India
January 26, 2012 - I am in need of Larix laricina (Bark) for my research work. Please let me know how to procure it.
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen in California
May 31, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smartypants, We are first-time home-buyers of a cute little house and a relatively large lot in Pacific Grove, CA. Unfortunately the neighbors to the north have built a second story with a nic...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center