En Español

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 - August 20, 2012

From: Sinton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Wasps on live oaks from Sinton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Wasps on my live oak trees. What is attracting them? Does this hurt the tree?

ANSWER:

Believe it or not, wasps are considered beneficial insects. Anyone who has ever blundered into a wasp nest and paid for the mistake is not going to believe that. No doubt what you have in your live oaks are aphids. Here are a couple of previous questions about them; they have been a terrific problem in Texas this summer.

Lakeway TX August 14, 2012

Austin, July 22, 2012

Now, read these two university websites on the aphid problem. Remember, the aphids can damage your tree, and insecticides will kill beneficials like wasps and ladybugs and leave aphid eggs safe to hatch again.

Battleground in your Backyard Washington State University scroll down to page 6, Parasitoids

Colorado State University Extension Aphids on Shade Trees

 

More Pests Questions

Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
November 12, 2008 - I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash
view the full question and answer

Black coloration on Star Magnolia is probably sooty mold.
November 21, 2008 - I have a star magnolia where 90% of the bark has turned black. It almost looks burned. The tree has decent buds set for next spring. What is causing the bark to turn black?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Gregg's mistflower from Fredericksburg, TX
May 19, 2013 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: Something is wilting the tops of my Gregg's mistflower, Conoclinium greggii. I cannot see bugs on the plant, so I am wondering if it's a disease. The problem is widespread to...
view the full question and answer

Red spider mites in native bluebonnets in Austin
April 02, 2008 - What would you do if the WFC bluebonnets developed a bad case of red spider mites? That is what has happened to many of mine here in Austin. I noticed them the other day and I must have been asleep be...
view the full question and answer

Small white bugs on indoor hibiscus in Ohio
November 25, 2008 - My Hibiscus has small white bugs on the leaves with small white residue. Looks like very small pieces of white rice. This white rice is also covering the UNOPENED buds and making them fall off. It ...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center