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 - June 10, 2013

From: South Bend, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a huge White Oak in our backyard that is approx. 130 years old. This evening I became aware that there are several small holes around the trunk that appear to be oozing a dark sappy liquid. The holes are soft if you poke at them. I can see no insects around the holes. Should I be concerned? We do not want to lose this tree as it is beautiful and shades our entire backyard. I read three other responses, but you were talking about a beetle found in TX and I was curious if you thought we could possibly have a similar problem.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking that if he had 130 year old oak with holes oozing sap, he would get a knowledgeable person to take a look at it. It’s hard to diagnose a problem like this long distance. That knowledgeable person could be someone from the St. Joseph County Office of Purdue Extension or a certified arborist.

There is a bird that lives in Indiana, the yellow bellied sap  sucker, that bores holes in trees and uses the sap that comes out as food.  This could be your culprit, and your County Extension Agent could tell for sure.

 

More Trees Questions

Sticky sap (honeydew) on car
July 10, 2012 - MY CAR IS CONSTANTLY COVERED WITH STICKY SAP. I LIVE IN AN AREA WITH MANY COCONUT PALMS AND OTHER TREES. COULD THE SAP BLOW AROUND EVEN THOUGH I KEEP CHANGING THE PARKING?
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Young Cercis canadensis (Redbud) Tree
April 05, 2014 - I have a redbud tree that was transplanted when very young (five years ago). It just started budding last year. It is growing very well but the branches are low. It's like it's growing out instead o...
view the full question and answer

When is Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) mature
October 08, 2007 - Can you tell me the life cycle for the native Texas mesquite? I have found one source that says it matures in 2-5 years, but no other sources confirm this. We are hoping to classify mesquite flooring ...
view the full question and answer

Trees to plant around horse corrals
September 07, 2010 - I would like to know what types of trees would be good to plant around my horse corrals.
view the full question and answer

Mid-sized tree that does not attract moths for Katy, TX
December 25, 2010 - I recently started to get interested in gardening. I live in Katy Texas and am looking for a medium sized tree I can grow in my backyard. I don't mind a tree that attracts birds or butterflies but I...
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