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 - January 29, 2009

From: Southbury, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Wound to ash tree in Connecticut
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My parents live in CT and there is a ravine on the side of their property with a beautiful ash tree on the bank. A week or two ago a drunk driver crashed their car into the ash. Now the tree has a large wound, and they were wondering if there is anything they can do for the tree to protect it from disease or pest infestation. Thanks for any advice.

ANSWER:

Since you didn't specify which ash your parents have on their property, we chose Fraxinus americana (white ash), which is native to Connecticut, to use as an example.  Unfortunately, the members of the Fraxinus genus are somewhat vulnerable to attack by  pests and diseases, prevalent among them being fungi in various forms. The wound to the tree you described will be very attractive to those fungi. 

This information was extracted from a government information paper by Richard C. Schlesinger on Fraxinus americana

"A rust (Puccinia peridermiospora) distorts petioles and small twigs. Cankers caused by Nectria galligena may cause branches to break but are rarely found on main stems. Heartwood rots may be caused by Perenniporia fraxinophilus, Phellinus igniarius, Pleurotus ostreatus, Tyromyces spraguei, and Laetiporus sulphureus. These organisms usually enter through wounds or broken branches, mainly on older trees."

If anything can be done, it probably needs to be done quickly, while woody plants, such as trees, are still dormant in the Winter. You will get better information from horticulture experts who are closer to the scene than we are in Texas. Here is a site from the University of Connecticut College of Agriculture, New Haven County Extension.  The site has contact numbers and e-mail addresses, and hopefully they can direct you to someone better acquainted with the problems for ash trees in the Northeast. If they feel that there is some hope the tree can be saved, they may refer you to a licensed arborist, who will be trained and equipped to deal with tree diseases.


Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus americana

Fraxinus americana

 

 

More Trees Questions

Plants for soil with basalt outcroppings in Idaho
March 30, 2008 - We have basalt (lava) outcropping in part of our back yard and know we'll have to search for pockets of soil in which to plant. Any suggestions about what trees or shrubs would have a chance in thes...
view the full question and answer

Seven foot privacy fence in Tucson
November 25, 2014 - I am looking for a privacy hedge for a home in Tucson, Arizona that will be in full sun. Needs to be at least seven foot tall and low water and maintenance. Any suggestions.
view the full question and answer

Native Plants for a water collection pit in Bronson, FL
August 22, 2013 - I live near Gainesville, FL in a low rural area with many cypress swamps around & bought this 5 acres 2 years ago. About 15 years ago a pit was dug on my 5 acres to give the rainwater somewhere to go...
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Thorny plant for fenceline security
December 23, 2009 - What kind of thorny plant or vine would you suggest to place along a fence for security purposes
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