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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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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!

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Sunday - September 09, 2012

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Shrubs
Title: New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trunk from top to bottom is covered in black spots and some look like sap coming out. What is it and how can I save them? There are hundreds of spots on the trunk, I can email a picture. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Honestly, if you still have your charge card receipt or other proof of purchase, we would hotfoot that Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) back to the nursery. That sounds like an insect of some sort, and the loss of sap is a serious threat to the plant. Not only do you not want to spend the time and money planting that plant, you don't want whatever it is spreading to other parts of your garden. In fact, if you don't have proof of purchase, and the nursery won't admit liability, we would recommed leaving the infected plants there anyway, to get them out of your garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

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