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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.

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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.

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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!

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Tuesday - October 27, 2009

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Twig girdlers attacking an Elm tree in Wimberly, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I was looking at my small 6' cedar elm and noticed that four (4) 1/2" limbs have circle cuts a 1/8" wide completely around them and they are dead. Is this some insect or maybe a bigger critter? I have several other cedar elms and they are not affected.

ANSWER:

 It sounds like your elm tree has been visited by a twig girdler, a type wood-boring beetle. Texas Agricultural Extension Service of Texas A&M University has an excellent publication, Wood Boring Insects of Trees and Shrubs , with information to help identify your particular pest and how to control it.

Other useful sources of information can be found at:

Texas Agricultural Extension Service

University of Nebraska Extension

Check this site for some good beetle images

 

 

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