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

Thursday - July 05, 2012

From: Spicewood,, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Shrubs, Trees
Title: Texas Mountain Laurel oozing sap in Spicewood, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We have a Texas mountain laurel that seems to be sweating. Oozing sap with no apparent signs of any type of bore holes, or holes made from any birds.

ANSWER:

Your Texas Mountain Laurel has likely been visited by some egg-laying insects.  Cicadas and Katydids are common causes of sap-oozing on trees and shrubs during the summer months.  Females of many of these insects have very sharp, sword-shaped appendages called ovipositors with which they pierce the surface of tree trunks and stems and lay their eggs beneath.  This piercing leaves a razor-thin wound in the bark of the plant that is nearly invisible, but through which sometimes copious amounts of sap may ooze.

Most plants have little ill-effect from being violated in this way.  However, large-scale ovipositing by some insect species can harm or even kill some plants.

Contact your AgriLife Extension Service agent for more information on this topic.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Trees Questions

Blocking dust from a road in Sturgis MS
September 20, 2012 - Please let me know what Trees/shrubs will help block dust from dirt road.
view the full question and answer

Tree leaves being chewed in Austin
July 04, 2009 - We planted a Texas Redbud tree, and Monterey Oak (Mexican White Oak) in the front yard this spring and both have had their leaves eaten or chewed by something I cannot find on their leaves. At first I...
view the full question and answer

Locating a Western Soapberry Tree for Montezuma IN
November 20, 2009 - Hello, I hope you can help. We homeschool in Indiana (Dad is a native Texan, transplanted). We are looking for someone with a healthy, mature & fruiting Western Soapberry Tree..sapindus drumondii.
view the full question and answer

Tree for sound block near Houston
April 24, 2010 - I live in Pearland, just south of Houston and am looking for a tree that I can plant along my fenceline between my neighbor and me that will block noise. We have a pool and entertain a lot, but they a...
view the full question and answer

Carolina buckthorn and Neem Oil Spray Damage
April 27, 2015 - It's April, I have a Carolina buckthorn that seemed to be doing well, about 8 feet tall, about 2 years old in part shade. It was putting out new leaves about a month ago and seemed to have infestati...
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