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

Thursday - October 23, 2008

From: Richmond, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Knots growing on Arizona Ash in Richmond, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have three Arizona Ash trees around my house the trunks are at least 15" in diameter. One of the three has at least 25 large knots growing on its trunk, some maybe 6-8" in size. What are they? Are they harmful to the tree? Thanks for your time and trouble.

ANSWER:

There are several things that can go wrong with Fraxinus velutina (velvet ash), including Texas root rot, nematodes, chlorosis, cankering, mildew, fungal infections and emerald ash borer. However, it sounds more like what your tree has is galls, which is ususually non-threatening to the tree, and involves a structure to protect larvae of some insect, most often wasps. When the galls show up, it's really too late to do anything about them, and they usually involve just one generation per year. See this article from the Kemper Center for Home Gardening Galls on Trees. It has suggestions for Integrated Pest Management, but just about all the information we could find on galls said it was nothing to really worry about. Most of the pictures we could find of galls were on oak trees, but they tend to be tree-specific, so something that likes to live on an ash may be causing the bumps on your tree. Look at these pictures of galls on trees to see if there are similarities to what your  trees are experiencing. 

Since we are not entomologists and, of course, cannot see your trees, we would suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension office for Fort Bend County.  This site has contact information and also an Horticulture link. They may recognize the symptoms and know what it is and whether you need to take any action about it. 

 

More Trees Questions

Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
June 15, 2007 - A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

Ashe Juniper not doing well in San Antonio
April 08, 2010 - A large ash juniper (mountain cedar) in my yard appears to be sick or dying. Approximately 1/4 of the canopy has very sparse needles/green foliage stuff and shaggier than normal bark. It's not brown ...
view the full question and answer

Selection of a small variety of Desert Willow for SE Texas
August 02, 2011 - Looking to plant desert willow as shrub. Any helpful tips to keep height down and plant full or bushy.
view the full question and answer

Live Oak Suckers Reprise, Austin TX
July 06, 2014 - Referring to an entry dated March 11, 2011 about Live Oak suckers - what happened to the suckers covered with newspaper and cardboard?
view the full question and answer

Decline of mesquite and persimmon trees in San Antonio
September 07, 2009 - We have lived in a house in San Antonio for about 30 years now and in the last 5 years, we have seen the decline of several mesquite and wild persimmon trees. I am wondering what would cause their de...
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