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?


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

Wednesday - September 07, 2011

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Sap oozing from non-native Chinese pistache in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I live in San Antonio, and my chinese pistache is exuding copious amounts of a sticky sap from old trim sites and from the trunk itself. The tree is about 12 years old and has been healthy up until now. I'm sure the drought has weakened it some. Please tell me what could be causing this oozing. Bugs or disease?


Pistacia chinensis, Chinese Pistache is native to (where else) central and western China. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is devoted to the growth and care of plants native not only to North America but to the area in which they grow natively, so this tree is out of our realm of expertise. However, we do consider it invasive, and would prefer it not be planted nor propagated. We have answered a number of questions about this tree, and are going to give you links to those answers, in hopes you will find the information you need.

Austin, TX

Texas Invasives.org on Pistacia chinensis

Kerrville, TX

Plant files from Dave's Garden: Read especially the 5 negative comments

From University of California Integrated Pest Management Pests and Diseases of Pistachia Chinensis.

Finally, we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Bexar County.




More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Chipmunk in the garden.
August 27, 2008 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I have a rogue chipmunk this year (never had one before doing this) who is eating roots and digging holes in all my plant containers. I have tried Plant Skyd (excellent deer r...
view the full question and answer

Problems with hibiscus in Florida
November 09, 2008 - Have a hibiscus in Florida. It has always done beautifully planted in the ground. This year, it has developed something where the branches are sort of white, and the buds (and ends of branches) look ...
view the full question and answer

Willow Tree with Bark and Leaves Falling Off in Missouri
October 01, 2015 - My willow tree is suddenly lost leaves on 1/2 of the tree. The tree has 2 major trunks and the leaves that have fallen (all off within about 3 weeks) are on one trunk but the bark is impacted on both ...
view the full question and answer

Native firebush dying in Sun City Center FL
July 17, 2009 - I have a native firebush, it is suddenly dying branch by branch, from the inside out, I have noticed odd things look like wasps but with speckled wings on it. What could be killing it. The inside bra...
view the full question and answer

Restoration of mistflowers suffering from wet season
June 27, 2007 - I have planted gregg's mistflower in a bed that receives morning sun and afternoon semi-shade. It was beautiful and covered with blooms and butterflies this spring, but suddenly has become brown and ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center