Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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
3 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

Problems with winecups in Taylor, TX
May 09, 2010 - I live in Taylor in Williamson County, Tx,. I have wine cups growing. They are lush and blooming, but I am now noticing what looks like spores forming under the leaves and the plants seem to be suffer...
view the full question and answer

Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
June 14, 2007 - Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
view the full question and answer

Why are my Spanish Oaks dropping branches that appear to be alive?
June 24, 2009 - We have two large Spanish Oaks that we planted ourselves. They both have begun to loose large branches that aren't dead. These branches just break off and fall. There is usually a wind, but not to th...
view the full question and answer

Changing bloom color from Tulsa OK
June 27, 2011 - How do you change the bloom color?
view the full question and answer

Round growths on Mexican buckeye
April 28, 2008 - I have two pink buckeyes next to each other in my yard. The branches on one are completely covered in brown, round growths about the size of a pill bug. The other tree has none. Can you tell me what t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.