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 Shrubs Questions

Evergreen Shrubs for the Houston area
March 24, 2011 - Hello Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in the Houston area and I am looking for an evergreen native shrub (no more than 7 feet tall at maturity) for two locations - one would be in full sun and the other ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with native palms in Austin
April 10, 2011 - We had a large variety of California fan palms and blue sabal palms in our yard that were damaged during the last freeze. We found that several of them now have "spear pull," which means we could p...
view the full question and answer

Holding soil on a bank in Goldsboro, NC
July 25, 2010 - I live in Goldsboro, NC on a small ridge with a very steep bank on one side of our property. What native plants can we plant on the bank to help hold the soil. Also, what would be best to plant on t...
view the full question and answer

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Thorny shrub for deterring break-ins in southeast Texas
February 05, 2013 - Looking for a very, very, thorny three or four foot tall shrub for in front of windows to deter break-ins. Considering Rosa Rugosa rose but it is not native.
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