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 - 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

Native tree for cemetery in Western Oklahoma
May 06, 2009 - My siblings and I are wanting to plant a tree next to my Mother's grave at the cemetery. It is in Western Oklahoma so hot sun and constant high wind are both considerations to choosing the right tree...
view the full question and answer

Sap dripping from a lacey oaks in San Antonio
September 06, 2012 - I have a lacey oak tree, approximately 6 ft. tall that has been in the ground almost a year. The tree looks healthy but there is a small area on the trunk that looks and feels wet. The substance is s...
view the full question and answer

Swarming insects on non-native willow in Washington PA
September 25, 2011 - I have had a very large, beautiful pillow willow bush/tree growing next to our garage for about 8 years. Last year at the end of August, it began to attract white-faced hornets and yellow jackets by t...
view the full question and answer

Cedar trees dying in CO
July 18, 2011 - We have mature cedar trees at the home we bought in SW Colorado. The large ones have begun to die. Can too much water kill a cedar tree and is there anything I can do to keep them alive?
view the full question and answer

Native Desert Willow and bunchgrass for Lubbock TX
July 29, 2013 - We live in Lubbock and have decided to try to make our front yard as native as possible. It has been a very difficult process finding native species locally (even the local Aggie nursery sells a lot ...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center