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

Evergreen oak in Washington
February 17, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Pacific Northwest and noticed an oak tree growing near the road that was evergreen (unusual for here). I was so curious that that last time that I passed the tree,...
view the full question and answer

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from The Woodlands TX
July 22, 2013 - Your plant database does not distinguish 2 native tree species. Common names for these 2 trees: American hophornbeam and ironwood or musclewood. These common names are used for both trees - even m...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen to replace non-native chinaberry
November 08, 2011 - Looking for a native evergreen tree to replace a fruitless Chinaberry that was 35 years old. We have clay soil for about 3 feet and then you hit rock. Suggestions would be appreciated.
view the full question and answer

Avoiding cedar elm because of allergens
August 18, 2008 - Hi. Cedar elm, Ulmus crassifolia, seems like a wonderful, tough, drought tolerant native tree. I'd like to plant several to shade buildings. I'm being discouraged from doing so because Cedar elm ...
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