En Español

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
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

Effect of unusual wet weather on desert willows
July 23, 2007 - I live in North Central Texas and have 3 beautiful Desert willow trees that are usually in full bloom. I've kept them pruned to form a nice full tree shape but now they are losing leaves and looking ...
view the full question and answer

Tree roots in sewer from Paragould AR
September 30, 2012 - I have beautiful pecan trees, an apple in the back yard, a pine on the west side of the house and pecan trees in the front yard. Two trees are interrupting my sewer systems (at least one in the back y...
view the full question and answer

Failure of flameleaf sumacs to produce fruit
January 09, 2013 - Our two flame leaf sumacs produce none to little fruit. Both are about 4 years old, quite large, healthy looking; flowering this year was very good, but no fruit. What keeps them from producing fruit?
view the full question and answer

Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
August 19, 2013 - I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much...
view the full question and answer

Native conifer bearing evergreen for noise reduction
April 01, 2008 - I asked the prior question about noise reduction and you gave me several choices. Thank you for that. Of the plants you suggested, the wax myrtle is the tallest and therefore probably best for my 2-st...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center