En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI

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
1 rating

Monday - April 30, 2012

From: Engadine, MI
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: Spots on bark of Mountain Ash from Engadine MI
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a mountain ash that is about 5 years old & have just noticed white, patchy, scaly looking spots on the bark. Is this something to be concerned about???

ANSWER:

When we searched on our Native Plant Database, we found 7 species of ash with "mountain ash" as a common name. Two of them - Sorbus americana (American mountain ash), and Sorbus decora (Northern mountain ash) -  are native to Michigan, so we chose American Mountain Ash to check out; usually, plants that closely related will share benefits and problems.

When we followed the plant link to our webpage on this tree, we found this statement:

"Conditions Comments: Mountain ash is usually short-lived due to fire blight, mildew, and borers as well as a number of other diseases and insects. In cultivation this species does best in the northern part of its range and at high altitudes. Young stems and thin bark need protection from winter browsers."

Since this is a plant that wouldn't grow in Texas, we don't have any first-hand knowledge of what the problem might be, so we are going to look for articles, perhaps with pictures, online to help.

University of Wisconsin Extension: Mountain Ash disorder: Fire blight.

Previous Mr. Smarty Plants question on fungus in Mountain Ash

From Yardener Solving Problems with Mountain Ash

From Dave's Garden Mountain Ash - A Multifaceted Tree

From Virginia Tech Mountain Ash: Finally, one with a picture like you describe, and this comment: "Bark: When young, smooth with numerous lenticels, grayish brown, developing cracks, splits and scale patches with age."

So, maybe you don't have anything to worry about after all.

 

From the Image Gallery


American mountain ash
Sorbus americana

American mountain ash
Sorbus americana

American mountain ash
Sorbus americana

More Pests Questions

Removing yaupon hollies from yard in Austin
July 04, 2009 - We recently moved into a home w/ way too many and much too large (20-30') yaupon holly's in the back yard. I had some of them cut down, but they keep coming up from the roots of the old trees. How ...
view the full question and answer

Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
November 12, 2008 - I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash
view the full question and answer

Do Deer Eat Orchid Trees?
March 08, 2013 - I have planted three anacacho orchid trees, however we have a lot of deer around us. Is this a tree they will want to eat? Do you have any ideas to keep deer away?
view the full question and answer

Mosquito repellant plant?
January 18, 2009 - Is there such a thing as mosquito repellent plants? If so, what are they?
view the full question and answer

Food for wild rabbits in Shiro TX
July 15, 2009 - There are usually 1-2 cottontail rabbits sharing our 4 acre habitat that are suffering due to the lack of new growth caused by drought. Is there anything I can plant after this summer that would provi...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center