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?


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

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

Tree for area around patio in East Texas
December 31, 2008 - What is the best type of tree to plant around my patio which faces the southeast
view the full question and answer

Status of Texas Olive tree in Katy, TX
March 30, 2016 - I have a Texas Olive tree and it has very few leaves. Is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Proper watering of cedar elm trees in Sachse, TX
August 15, 2008 - I've just planted two Cedar elm trees in clay soil, each about four inches in diameter, and I want to water them correctly. I'm aware that too much water can be bad as well as too little water. I ...
view the full question and answer

Are Black Olive trees safe to have in pastures in Florida
May 06, 2009 - I am trying to find out if Black Olive trees will be safe to have in our yard and/or pastures. We raise cattle, goats and horses. We need to find some good shade trees that are safe for our animals ...
view the full question and answer

Thoughts on non-native Italian Cypress in Austin
January 01, 2014 - I would like to know your thoughts on growing Italian Cypress trees in Austin Texas? We are looking to create a privacy screen(and prepared to pay more for mature trees to cut down the wait to grow...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center