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
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 Shrubs Questions

Blue Natives for San Antonio
June 28, 2012 - What are the best flowers or trees to buy since we are always in stage 2 and sometimes in stage 3 water conservation? I love flowers that are blue, preferably year around. THANK YOU
view the full question and answer

Plants to grow under a black walnut tree in PA
July 03, 2011 - I want to plant some shrubs and flowers in an area with southern exposure that is dry, sunny, and within the drip line of, and partially under a large black walnut tree. I had been told that native pl...
view the full question and answer

An evergreen, deer-resistant shrub for Memphis
July 24, 2013 - I need an evergreen, deep to partial shade, deer resistant shrub or tree. Does such a plant exist?
view the full question and answer

Pruning practices from Austin
May 16, 2013 - I need to do some pruning in my front beds and I know nothing about plants. From what I have been able to identify I have bicolor irises, plumbago, Japanese Aralia. I don't even know where to begin o...
view the full question and answer

Need suggestions for a small tree for cemetery in NH.
August 30, 2012 - I would like suggestions for picking a SMALL tree for a rural cemetery in Winchester, NEW HAMPSHIRE. Would the delicate Japanese Elm be suitable for the weather, etc?
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center