Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Esperanza failing to bloom in Odessa TX
September 01, 2009 - I have 3 Esperanza plants that have not bloomed this spring/summer. I live in Odessa, TX. We had about 5 inches of rain in July in one week (very unusual), but they have not bloomed-before or after. ...
view the full question and answer

Yellowing of leaves in Texas Mountain Laurel from Austin
June 25, 2012 - I planted a Texas Mountain Laurel in my Austin, TX yard this January. The tree was good sized (about 5 feet tall) when I planted it. Recently the leaves of the tree have started to turn yellow alon...
view the full question and answer

Shrubs and ground covers for slope in Southern California
March 13, 2010 - Need suggestions for shrubs & ground covers for a west facing, 45 degree angle, sunny slope with compacted, poor draining soil. We live 2-3 miles from the ocean. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
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.