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

Wednesday - June 20, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Wound in Monterey Oak from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a 10 year old Monterey Oak that has developed a wound that is secreting a white bubbly substance that has attracted all the bugs, like butterfly's , pill bugs, ants, and several others I don't know the name of. I have sprayed it off with water but the sap comes right back. Can you tell me what to do.

ANSWER:

Our first thought on reading this was "Oh, no! Oak Wilt!" However, Quercus polymorpha (Mexican white oak) is (obviously) a white oak, which is not as susceptible to Oak Wilt as the red oaks and live oaks. However, Austin is deep in Oak Wilt country, and we feel you should read all of this Texas Oak Wilt website, and if you feel it is possible that one of the bugs gathered around that sap drip is the nitudulid beetle you should contact:

Eric Beckers
Travis and Hays counties
Texas Forest Service Project Forester
6330 Highway 290 East, Suite 115
Austin, TX 78723
512-339-3772
ebeckers@tfs.tamu.edu

You also should consider how that wound was made to the tree. Construction equipment, lawnmowers, even weedeaters can be the guilty parties. Once the sap has  begun to flow, it can attract a nitudulid beetle that has just visited an infected tree and is carrying the fungus on his body. The best prevention of Oak Wilt is to avoid any damage to an oak tree.

 

From the Image Gallery


Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

Mexican white oak
Quercus polymorpha

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Arizona ash tree with brown leaf tips in Las Vegas NV
August 01, 2010 - We've had an Arizona Ash Tree in our yard for over 7 years it was doing fine until last summer, the tree seems to be struggling with the heat, its leaves look like they are burning up and turning bro...
view the full question and answer

Chlorosis in tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa
May 18, 2008 - I planted both tropical milkweed and asclepias tuberosa. Both are chlorotic and the native milkweed has brown upturned leaves. Could it possibly be too much water? Or what?
view the full question and answer

Soapberry Transplant shock symptoms
July 21, 2006 - Please suggest a cause & cure for general yellowing of the leaves of Western Soapberry when planted in the ground 20 miles NW of Austin (thin, poor clay over limestone). Trees still in containers are...
view the full question and answer

Survivability of plants after freeze
December 08, 2003 - I have many beautiful plants that froze. Some were Lantana, Hummingbird Bush, Candlestick Trees, Esperanza, Some flowers, and Marigolds. I love all of my plants and flowers and I want them to grow bac...
view the full question and answer

Reason for die-back of native Mahonia repens
April 01, 2008 - I have several mahonia repens plants planted on my property. This is the third spring for them and I have noticed that they look like they might be dying out. The leaves have turned brown and are cu...
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