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


Monterrey oak
Quercus polymorpha

Monterrey oak
Quercus polymorpha

Monterrey oak
Quercus polymorpha

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Growth on top of Echinacea purpurea (Eastern purple coneflower)
July 03, 2012 - I grow purple coneflowers in my garden. ONE plant has something growing on the top of each cone. I would like to know what it is but I don't see how I can add a photo to this post.
view the full question and answer

Willow woes in Philadelphia, NY
August 22, 2010 - I have a 2 yr old willow; it is August and it looks like the tree has gone dormant, is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Dying branches on Texas Mountain Laurel from Kempner TX
September 14, 2012 - The branches on my Texas Mountain Laurel are very dry and brittle. The leaves are also starting to die. The tree has been in my yard for six years and prior to that it sat wrapped in burlap for ov...
view the full question and answer

Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
June 15, 2007 - A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

Decline of sheared dwarf hollies from Rockwall TX
May 31, 2014 - I have 20 year old established dwarf yaupon hollies in front of the house that I trim every year and shape the same. This year the new growth that was 2 1/2 " long I noticed the new leaves were curli...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center