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

Friday - April 20, 2012

From: Sun City, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Problems with Texas Ash from Sun City, AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford


What might be causing the leaves on my Texas Ash tree to have brown spots and curl up and die?


For openers, our Native Plant Database lists Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) as being native only to a strip down the center of Texas and a small part of Oklahoma. We understand it is rare in the trade. Sometimes trade names are used that do not match up with the common name usually accepted for a plant, so  it may be that your tree is either some other ash or is a hybrid, which means it will not appear in our database.

Another possibility is that you have a cultivar of Fraxinus velutina (Arizona ash) with the trade name of Fan-Tex. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that will give you some information on that. This USDA Plant Profile Map shows the Arizona Ash does, indeed grow in Maricopa County, while this map on Fraxinus texensis (Texas ash) does not show it growing in Arizona at all.

There are so many things that can cause ash leaves to exhibit the symptoms that you list, we are going to refer you to a website from Iowa State University Common Problems of Ash Trees that has pictures and descriptions. Once you have read that, we suggest you contact the University of Arizona Extension Office for Maricopa County. Regardless of which ash tree you have, if others are having the same problem the people in the Extension Office should know about it. 


From the Image Gallery

Texas ash
Fraxinus albicans

Texas ash
Fraxinus albicans

Arizona ash
Fraxinus velutina

More Pests Questions

Problem with mesquite tree limbs
June 13, 2014 - i keep finding some smaller branches of my mesquite tree in the turf area around the tree. when looking at the cut ends, they appear to have a smooth cut around the circumference of the limb about 1/...
view the full question and answer

Sticky stuff dripping from non-native crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - There is sticky sap-like stuff dropping from the very large crepe myrtle in my yard. The tree has quit blooming. This didn't happen last year when it was so dry; it started after we had all the rain ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Ashe juniper from Lakeway TX
May 25, 2013 - Dear Sir/Madam, I have been living for the last three years in Lakeway, Texas approximately 20 miles west of Austin. In my back garden there are several ashe junipers about 15-20ft tall. However...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating wood roaches from hardwood mulch from San Antonio TX
February 05, 2013 - How can I eliminate the numerous wood roaches in my hardwood mulch that I get for free from the city of San Antonio?
view the full question and answer

Blueberry bushes failing to leaf out in Haines Falls, NY
June 25, 2009 - Blueberry bushes planted in spring in upstate New York; no leaves, only the stem. How do we know if they are alive? Blueberries do very well in that area known as Haines Falls, New York (mountain a...
view the full question and answer

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