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 - October 08, 2009

From: Peterborough, ON
Region: Canada
Topic: Pests, Shrubs
Title: Viburnum insect damage
Answered by: Anne Bossart

QUESTION:

I have a highbush cranberry that gets covered in 1/4in black bugs every spring. It makes lots of holes in the leaves. What are they and how can I get rid of this insect.I have tried neem oil but it doesn't work great?

ANSWER:

It is likely that your problem is due to the Viburnum Leaf Beetle. It was was introduced from Europe and was first discovered in North America in the Ottawa/Hull area on the European Highbush Cranberry, Viburnum opulus.  It has since moved into the native viburnum population and can kill a plant after a few successive years of defoliation.

You don't mention how mature your plant is or for how many years you have been experiencing the problem.  Is it possible that your plant is actually not the native?  I lived near Ottawa for a few years and was conscious of the fact that one very large "snowball bush" had a problem every spring but the natives which were growing out in the fields and forest edges did not. Since then I have noticed that young plants are more susceptible and perhaps mistakenly assumed that the non-native had been subsitituted for the native.  If your plant is mature and it never berried, you can assume that it is the European plant.

You will find the following links helpful: The Cornell Univeristy Entemology website has information about the pest (and pohtos)  and the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station website has a list of relative susceptibility of different viburnums.

 

 

More Pests Questions

Long term effects of pesticide from Lubbock TX
March 20, 2013 - I have 9 western pecan trees about 20 years old. Trunk sizes is from 18" to 39". I used a product Bayer Tree and Shrub, applied to the trees. I wonder what it will do to the trees. I talkd to Bayer ...
view the full question and answer

Mosquito repellant plant?
January 18, 2009 - Is there such a thing as mosquito repellent plants? If so, what are they?
view the full question and answer

Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
August 14, 2012 - We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried ...
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees buzzing in Taylor TX
October 20, 2012 - Is it possible for live oak trees to make a buzzing sound? We have heard this sound under our live oak and were worried it was bees but we don't seem to see any. I also heard the buzzing under my mot...
view the full question and answer

Japanese beetles in Port Monmouth, NJ
April 08, 2009 - I have searched your web-site in the hopes of not repeating or bothering you with a question not in your field. I am hoping you can help me. I live in Port Monmouth, New Jersey. Last year many of my ...
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