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
Not Yet Rated

Thursday - April 14, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Insects along branches of cedar elm
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Eric Beckers

QUESTION:

I have a 10 foot Cedar Elm planted three years ago. The smaller branches have what looks like incubating red pellet-like insects in a soft, putty colored glob--one insect per glob. They are all along the branches. It looks as if those branches will not leaf out although uninfested ones are doing so. Are these insects causing permanent damage and can/should I do anything to get rid of them? Thank you.

ANSWER:

I contacted Eric Beckers with the Texas Forest Service who agrees that your description sounds like lecanium scale insects.  University of California Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has a list of many scale insects (with links to photos of most) and their hosts.  Horticultural oil is a good treatment but it should have been applied in their overwintering stage to be most effective.   You can still do a summer weight oil application but you need to be very careful to avoid the new foliage when applying it.  Other possibilities for treatment are listed in the two links (above) about scales.  Eric reminds you that it is very important to maintain adequate moisture on those easily stressed new trees. 

 

More Trees Questions

Bald cypress with chlorosis in Texas
June 15, 2009 - I have a 6' tall Bald Cypress planted 2 years ago which just this year appears to be suffering from chlorosis. The tree was bought from a chain store. It receives some drainage water from my washin...
view the full question and answer

Large, fast-growing shade tree for Val Verde County, Texas
April 03, 2016 - What is an overall good shade tree, very large & fast growing, to plant in Central South Texas, Val Verde County region? I am told that virtually nothing but Live Oaks or some other type of Oak will ...
view the full question and answer

Root ball disintegrating on Arroyo sweetwood from Dripping Springs TX
May 11, 2013 - I just purchased a arroyo sweetwood in a 5 gallon container and when I went to put it in the ground the root ball completely fell apart. I put it in the ground and watered it really good. What are its...
view the full question and answer

Plant barrier along fence in South Central Texas
March 10, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I want to put in an attractive, diverse but tough plant barrier to help stop my dogs from running the fence with neighboring dogs. The 5-foot, open-wire fence is far from the...
view the full question and answer

Clicking heard under an Oak in near Bandera, TX
May 06, 2014 - Hi, I live on a ranch in TX outside of Bandera. We're covered with live oaks, spanish oak and cedar. Last week,as I stood under an oak, I heard a constant fairly loud clicking sound under and around ...
view the full question and answer

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