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 - 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 Trees Questions

Care in planting native Shumard oaks
April 16, 2008 - I am going to plant 3 shumard red oaks on the west side of my property. The land is basically rocky. What should I put in the holes to help the tree grow?
view the full question and answer

How close can I plant Mountain Laurels to my house in Austin, TX?
December 08, 2010 - Hello, I'm interested in planting 2 or 3 Texas Mountain Laurels on the side of my house and I'm wondering just how close is safe. I've been told that planting trees too close can damage the slab f...
view the full question and answer

Problems with new transplant non-native weeping willow from Washington DC
September 10, 2012 - I replanted a very young BABY weeping willow tree and now it looks as if the leaves are drying up like it is dying. I know that it could also be in shock from the new transplant or it can be dying ...
view the full question and answer

Large, fast-growing shade tree for Val Verde County, Texas
April 03, 2016 - What is an overall good shade tree, very large & fast growing, to plant in Central South Texas, Val Verde County region? I am told that virtually nothing but Live Oaks or some other type of Oak will ...
view the full question and answer

Small tree for container near pool in Houston
June 24, 2010 - Can you recommend a small tree that I can grow in a pot for shade? Looking for minimal mess because it will be near the pool. How big should the pot be?
view the full question and answer

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