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 21, 2008

From: Evansville, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Large ash tree with round white spot on bark
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a large ash tree that seems to be fairly healthy. However, it has a large round white spot (about 18" diameter) on the bark, about 3' up from the base. Within the solid white circle the bark is very shallow in depth, as though the bark is magically getting thinner and thinner in this area. There are no signs of holes and no visible fungus growing. Three different tree trimming companies have looked at it and all say they've never seen this before and the tree looks healthy otherwise.

ANSWER:

I'm not sure which ash tree you have, probably Fraxinus americana (white ash), but Fraxinus nigra (black ash), Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash), Fraxinus profunda (pumpkin ash), and Fraxinus quadrangulata (blue ash) also occur in Indiana. Then, there is also Sorbus decora (northern mountain ash). Here are some links to information about Fraxinus spp. and Sorbus spp. disease and pest problems:

"What's Ailing Your Ash Trees?" by Jill D. Pokomy

"Ash Tree Problems" by Sandra Mason

"Ash Yellows and Decline" from Missouri Botanical Garden

Fraxinus Insect Problems from Michigan State University Extension

Sorbus Disease Problems and Sorbus Insect Problems from Michigan State University Extension

I am sorry but I haven't found anything that sounds like your tree's problem. I suggest that you contact the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Forest Service to see if they have encountered this type of problem on ash or any other trees.

 

More Trees Questions

Soapberry; monoecious or dioecious?
May 26, 2009 - I have a soapberry (Sapindus saponaria L., I believe) tree growing in my yard. I planted it 3 years ago hoping for soapberries, but have not seen any yet. It has flowered each spring, but has not set ...
view the full question and answer

Non-blooming crape myrtle in Italy, TX
June 25, 2008 - It's Italy, TX, again! Thanks for the advice and links, and I'll study those..but here's where I'm stumped on crape myrtle. I have two (almost) trees because they've been planted over 15 years ...
view the full question and answer

Trees & shrubs, low water, no maintenance, disease & pest resistant
May 04, 2013 - We need few Trees and shrubs to meet the following needs: - Low Water or best with a taproot for Ground Water - Clay Soil in Steep Slopes (25-40 degrees) - Low or No Maintenance. (hillside, no trim...
view the full question and answer

Appropriate use of redbud from Austin
May 04, 2014 - I am considering purchasing a hearts of gold redbud; I am also xeriscaping my front yard. I live in Austin,TX. Will this tree do ok in full Tx sun (8+ hours) with once a week watering? If this...
view the full question and answer

What plants to put under an oak tree in Clover SC
January 30, 2010 - I have a 70 year old oak tree in my backyard and have tried to grow grass out from it with no success. I'd like to just plant some shrubs and make it a natural area now, but need advice on what I ca...
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