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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.

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Monday - May 11, 2015

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: ID of insects attacking a Mexican Plum in Austin, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I live in south austin and have a young 6' tall mexican plum. For the third year in a row it is getting eaten by small green 'leaf-rolling' worms. The destruction the past 2 years was so bad there were hardly any leaves remaining on the tree. This year I watched while it was in bloom and noticed small 1/4" long flying insects (with clear wings, red segmented bodies and black heads with white markings) that were landing on the emerging leaves and may have been laying eggs - they were not interested in the flowers. Do you know what this insect is and how I can treat the tree to reduce the infestation?

ANSWER:

We do not know what insect is plaguing you Mexican Plum tree.  However, it's very possible that the leaf-rolling larvae and the tiny flying adults are unrelated species.  You should contact your county's Agricultural Extension Service office.  They will be able to help with identification of the pest.

 

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