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 Trees Questions

Fertilizing a Mature Mountain Ash
May 10, 2013 - What kind of fertilizer should I use on a mountain ash tree that is 25 years old (or more)?
view the full question and answer

Blooms on Desert Willow withering quickly in Rockwall TX
July 15, 2010 - Why do the blooms on my Desert Willow dry up and wither away in one or two days?
view the full question and answer

Oak saplings in Boerne TX
August 02, 2010 - Is there anything I can do to kill the oak tree saplings that come up around my oak tree? I have a nice raised flower bed around the tree and now it's full of these saplings. Thanks for your help...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover under Spruces from West Chester PA
December 06, 2012 - Trying to get a native groundcover (or any grass/wildflower/fern) planting established under a small stand of spruces. Established stand (30+ years old), so lots of needles on ground. Just about tot...
view the full question and answer

Need a tree to replace a large oak tree that may be dying in Bedias TX.
April 28, 2011 - I live in Bedias, TX in Grimes County. One of the largest oak trees on my property looks like it's dying. It's simply not leafing out well. I literally can't afford for this to happen since I depen...
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