En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
2 ratings

Tuesday - May 05, 2009

From: Cooper, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Ring of small holes around pecan tree branches
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live outside Cooper, TX and I have a pecan tree about 15 years old, which I just noticed has little round holes (about the size of a pencil) going around the branches. It branches out about 3 feet from the ground and each branch has these holes that are about 5 1/2 to 6 feet off the ground. What are they and how do I treat the tree?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants looked at the article by George Ray McEachern, Evaluating Pecan Problems, from Texas A&M Horticulture in which there is an extensive list called "A Guide for Evaluating Pecan Problems."  One of the entries on the list—"Perfect Ring or Rings of Small Holes Around the Trunk.....No Problem, Sapsucker Woodpecker"—pretty well fits your problem. Here's a little more information about the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker.  Not everyone is as sanguine about the sapsucker's work.  The US Forest Service considers the sapsucker a pest and offers some control measures, although they acknowledge that control can be difficult.  Among their suggestons for control are: 1) wrapping the trunk with burlap or some other material; 2) using tree-wound paint on damaged areas; 3) applying a commercial repellent to the tree; 4) spraying the tree with soapy water and 5) discouraging or removing the offending bird.
 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Fuzzy Citrus Fruit on Satsuma and Lemon Trees
September 13, 2014 - A man asked you about fuzzy little small fruit-like balls that looked like tiny lemons. I have huge numbers of these on both my mature Satsuma and lemon tree this year. I get 100's of really great f...
view the full question and answer

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
view the full question and answer

Esperanza with rust spots in Corpus Christi, TX
November 30, 2009 - I have a young esperanza plant and the leaves have what looks like rust spots all over them. What is the cause of this and what can I do for it? My other larger and older esperanza does not have this....
view the full question and answer

Problems with dogwood tree in Jacksonville FL
February 28, 2010 - Sir, I believe I have a Cornus drummondii, a stiff dogwood tree on my lawn which a few years ago was big, lush and full of branches and leaves. In the last 2 years I have noticed about 80% of it drop...
view the full question and answer

New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
September 09, 2012 - We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trun...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center