Contact Us Host an Event 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

Wednesday - March 12, 2014

From: Birmingham, AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Problem with Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) in Alabama
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a 3" diameter Nuttall Oak that the builder planted when building the house. Last summer I noticed that several spots on the trunk were oozing sap (vertical approximately 1.5" long by 0.5" wide). At these locations there were small beetles, apparently stuck in the sap. Additionally, wasps were swarming around the tree. The locations now look like "blisters" where the bark has expanded outward and cracked down the middle. Is this from some kind of borer or several unrelated events? Thanks!

ANSWER:

One possibility for the oozing sap on your Quercus texana [synonym = Quercus nuttalli](Nuttall oak) is slime flux (also known as "wet wood"). 

Another possibility is hypoxylon canker which has been a common problem with trees in Alabama. 

Your best bet for confirming what is happening to your tree and the best way to determine how serious it is and how to treat it would be to contact your Jefferson County office of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and discuss the problems of your oak with the County Agent.  

You might also contact a professional arborist by searching on the American Society of Consulting Arborists or the National Arborists sites for one in your area who would have the expertise to identify and treat the problem with your oak.

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Ground Arizona ash wood suitable for mulch?
April 23, 2015 - We cut down a 40 year old Arizona ash tree and had the stump ground into mulch. Can we use this mulch in our vegetable garden and flower beds
view the full question and answer

Agarita and Mexican Buckeye not flowering or fruiting.
December 11, 2012 - The Greenbelt behind our home has a ton of agarita and Mexican buckeye, but they never bloom or berry. The pigeon berry is very happily doing both all year. Any suggestions for helping the agerita a...
view the full question and answer

Need help with dying clumps of Cedar Sedge
June 24, 2015 - Carex planostachys. This grass was planted 2 years ago in light shade. It grew well until this year. Now some clumps are dying. Others in same area look fine. No insects can be detected. Why are...
view the full question and answer

What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
June 10, 2013 - 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. ...
view the full question and answer

Changing bloom color from Tulsa OK
June 27, 2011 - How do you change the bloom color?
view the full question and answer

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