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Thursday - October 23, 2008

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


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.


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. 


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