Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - July 30, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Something dripping from red oak in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

There is a large red oak outside my apartment. The leaves are shiny and covered with what appears to be oil. The ground underneath is coated with this also. When I parked under the tree my car became covered with oil. It came off easily at the carwash. I don't see any bees or insects and the tree appears healthy. It could be sap, except that it seems to be coming from the leaves. My main concern is that this is possibly an insect infestation.

ANSWER:

Because we are hearing about so much dripping from trees, frequently from oaks, that we are going to take a chance and send you links to some previous answers. It seems to be an absolute epidemic in Austin this year, possibly because of the weird weather.

Austin, July 14, 2012

Boca Raton, FL July 10, 2012

These were just the most recent on the subject. We have about 100 questions on aphids in our previous Mr. Smarty Plants questions.

Since this oak is apparently on the grounds at your apartment, you should probably alert the management to have their garden maintenance people examine it. Emphasize, NO HERBICIDE! The herbicide will kill beneficials (like lady bugs) that feed on the aphids and not faze the aphid eggs waiting to hatch into more aphids.

 

More Pests Questions

Webs on trees and porch
August 21, 2008 - i have webs all over my semi covered porch in my back yard. i have noticed these small webs are also on the trees in my backyard. what are they and are they dangerous to the trees or my family who sit...
view the full question and answer

Problem with Live Oaks in Mesa AZ
March 26, 2013 - I have two Evergreen Live Oaks in central Arizona. One is flourishing and getting new spring leaves from top to bottom. Its trunk is rough, has large grooves, and the spots where I've pruned look li...
view the full question and answer

Worms on blackeyed susans and daisies in Tuckerton NJ
July 30, 2009 - I have black eyed susans and white daisies planted together. Not sure if this makes a difference. Today I noticed that there are tiny worms on both the plants they are almost the size of silk worms. ...
view the full question and answer

Caterpillars ate my Sophora in La Mesa, CA.
July 06, 2011 - Before I noticed what was happening, my newly-planted 1 foot tall Sophora secundiflora was eaten by caterpillars. It now has no foliage. Do you think it will leaf out again?
view the full question and answer

Insects on yucca from Ft. Worth TX
April 05, 2012 - I have a plant labeled Yucca Soft Leaf recurvifolia that I planted about 5 years ago,& was beautiful until last summer when it became infested with thousands of fast, tiny, dark insects. I sprayed wit...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.