En EspaŅol

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?


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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - April 02, 2013

From: Laredo, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Is oak leucanium an invasive species in Texas from Laredo TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Is Parthenolecanium quercifex considered an invasive species in Texas? Does this insect attach itself to redbuds? I spotted and removed from my small 5ft Texas Redbud last year. It seems that it has affected it this spring with no blooms, no leaves on the main top part of tree. Is there anything I can do to save my tree?


We have to be honest, we are gardeners, not entomologists, and we never heard of this before, but we will see what we can find out.

On the website Invasive.org, we found this statement:

On that website, we found this page on Parthenolecanium quercifex. It was referred to on that page as "oak lecanium." So, we searched for something by that name and got this site: Biocyclopedia Oak lecanium scale. According to this article, is mostly a problem on oaks; thus the name. From that article: "Other reported hosts include other oak species, sycamore, pecan, chestnut, birch, persimmon, and pricklyash."

In answer to your question: Is this bug invasive? Of course, it is. Is that what's causing problems on your Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas redbud)? We didn't find it mentioned in any of our research. This USDA Plant Profile Map does not show Texas redbud growing in Webb County, so there might be an environmental problem.

Since we are not entomologists, we suggest you contact the Texas A&M AgriLIFE Extension Office for Webb County. If something is going on with that bug in your area, they should know about it.


From the Image Gallery

Texas redbud
Cercis canadensis var. texensis

More Trees Questions

Why has my Kidneywood tree not put out leaves this year in Lockhart, TX?
July 06, 2010 - I have a native Kidneywood which I planted in 2003. It has grown enthusiastically since that time. It has always leafed late in the Spring, late April - mid - May. It bloomed several times in 2009. Th...
view the full question and answer

Delay in fruiting of Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)
July 20, 2005 - Dear experts, My wife and i are members of your fine organization. Several years ago we bought four things at a spring plant sale for an understory spot in our yard. The Possumhaw Holly, American ...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Arizona Ash from Naco AZ
May 19, 2013 - Hi Mr. Smarty.. Live in southeast corner of Az. My Az. Ash is diseased. Just noticed leaves are curled, (still green) and when I open the leaf it has a zillion little white, what look like mites ...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for wildlife habitat in West Virginia
February 05, 2008 - We live in the southern region of Summers County in West Virginia. Our yard has a lot of shell and small rocks in it; it is in direct sun light. I would love to have a welcoming hummingbird, butterfly...
view the full question and answer

Need options for smaller trees in neighborhoods in Austin, TX.
May 25, 2012 - Please discuss smaller tree options for typical Austin neighborhood yards. These houses are built close together on the sides, and only have smallish back yards. They just don't have space for big 50...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center