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

Insect pests in Gaillardia aristata in Tennessee
August 22, 2008 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a couple of 'Oranges and Lemons' blanketflower plants in a butterfly and hummingbird native flower garden that is the foundation planting of my house. They bloom prol...
view the full question and answer

Nutrient imbalance in Tecoma stans
October 18, 2007 - I have two Tecoma stans on the north-east side of my yard. They have grown very tall (5') but have not bloomed all summer. Last summer they bloomed profusely. Any idea what the problem might be?
view the full question and answer

Declining wax myrtles in Katy, TX
August 24, 2009 - My wax myrtle bushes were thick and green except for a few on the NE side 6 months ago when we bought the house. Now they are thin, leggy, and dropping leaves like crazy. They seem to be dying one bra...
view the full question and answer

Control of Fusarium wilt on Wax Myrtle
March 05, 2011 - Do you have any new reports on how to control the Fusarium Wilt disease to Wax Myrtle Plants?
view the full question and answer

School project on acid rain effects on plants from Austin
October 18, 2013 - Hi I go to an Austin high school and I am doing a project on how acid rain affects plant growth. I am wondering if you know any plants that would be more or less susceptible to acid rain for this proj...
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