Rent Shop 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

Saturday - July 14, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Aphids in pecan tree from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Last year at this time (midsummer) everything under the canopy of our 60+ year old pecan tree was covered with a sticky substance--plants, lawn furniture, concrete pool deck..Since we had never seen this before we assumed it had something to do with the severe drought--and the lack of rain to wash things off. However, it is happening again this year. We've asked our tree guy and nursery staff, but no one knows what it is. It does not 'hose off.' Would appreciate advice--even where we might go for help.

ANSWER:

Easy one. We are surprised none of the sources you consulted knew what it was. Here is a recent Mr. Smarty Plants question discussing the reason for the sticky stuff. Another website we would direct you to is the Integrated Pest Management site from the University of California on Aphids. What you need to hose off is the tree; it will wash a lot of the aphids off and they can't get back up so readily. Avoid herbicides because it will likely kill beneficial insects that feed off the aphids.

 

More Pests Questions

Possible webbing bark lice on oak tree
August 08, 2008 - We live near the Center and have a large live oak tree in our yard. Recently the lower trunk has been covered with thin, white weblike material (not sure if spider web). What could this be and is it d...
view the full question and answer

Red bugs have appeared on my Texas mountain laurel
April 10, 2016 - What should I do about the red bugs on my mountain laurel?
view the full question and answer

Need help with a Coreopsis eating beetle in Shiro, TX
April 20, 2011 - Mr.Smarty Plants,(Sorry, I kept messing up with my emails) Anyway, here goes: I usually have a beautiful meadow full of lanceleaf coreopsis blooming by now. Not this year. I found to my horror every s...
view the full question and answer

What's attacking my Nellie Stevens Holly plants in Iredell, TX?
June 27, 2011 - I just bought 10 Nellie R. Stevens holly bushes and planted them as a screen. The leaves on some of the plants are at least half white - not yellow but white. Apparently they were like that when I b...
view the full question and answer

Weeping Willow Problem in Texas
September 04, 2014 - Our weeping willow's leaves are turning yellow and falling off. We are also seeing some brown, gnarly looking pods on some of the stems can you tell us what's happening?
view the full question and answer

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