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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - June 09, 2012

From: Nevada, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: White ash trees with bunched up leaves from Nevada TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have very young white ash trees (3' tall planted this winter) The leaves are crippled not opening up bunched up together and have a white powder. Is this aphids mites or what. Only on one tree. The rest have skeleton type leaves. What is the problem and how do I control it. I can send a picture if needed

ANSWER:

Apparently, this is a problem that is going around with ash trees. Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on the same subject. According to this USDA Plant Profile map, White Ash is native to the area of Collin County, in north Central Texas, so that should not be a problem. If you follow the plant link, Fraxinus americana (White ash), to our webpage on this tree you will find this statement:

"Susceptible, like many ashes, to a wide variety of disease and insect pests; these usually are not a problem to vigorously growing trees. Seedlings will tolerate quite a bit of shade, but if a full crown is desired, a generous amount of sun will be necessary as the tree matures. Prune in fall."

From this USDA Forest Service website, here is an article on White Ash. Scroll down to the Use and Management section, where you will get a fairly long list of things that can happen to the members of the Fraxinus (ash) genus. The most comprehensive study of pests on ash trees is this one from wiki.bugwood.org.

Sadly, everyone seems to want ash trees, because they are fast-growing and make good shade trees, but they are short-lived.

 

From the Image Gallery


White ash
Fraxinus americana

White ash
Fraxinus americana

White ash
Fraxinus americana

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