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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - August 14, 2012

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried how long this will last and if I should be treating the tree in any way. Do you have any idea what this could be?

ANSWER:

One word: Aphids. They are unusually bad this year, and we have answered many questions on them. From the University of California Integrated Pest Management Program, here is an article on managing aphid infestations.

Here are some previous answers to help you out:

Austin Aug. 8, 2012

Austin July 30, 2012

Austin July 14, 2012

Since all of these have more links in them, and possibly some duplications we think that's 'nuff said,

 

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