Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 - August 20, 2012

From: Sinton, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Trees
Title: Wasps on live oaks from Sinton TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Wasps on my live oak trees. What is attracting them? Does this hurt the tree?

ANSWER:

Believe it or not, wasps are considered beneficial insects. Anyone who has ever blundered into a wasp nest and paid for the mistake is not going to believe that. No doubt what you have in your live oaks are aphids. Here are a couple of previous questions about them; they have been a terrific problem in Texas this summer.

Lakeway TX August 14, 2012

Austin, July 22, 2012

Now, read these two university websites on the aphid problem. Remember, the aphids can damage your tree, and insecticides will kill beneficials like wasps and ladybugs and leave aphid eggs safe to hatch again.

Battleground in your Backyard Washington State University scroll down to page 6, Parasitoids

Colorado State University Extension Aphids on Shade Trees

 

More Pests Questions

Changing colors on Mexican Plum trees from Bellaire TX
June 20, 2013 - The leaves on my Mexican Plum tree have recently started turning yellow/brown and the veins in leaves are red. Is this a watering issue or disease issue? Mites are on the leaves. This has been a ra...
view the full question and answer

Catalpa and maple with dying branches in Wisconsin
July 07, 2008 - We have a northern catalpa in our front yard. It's been there for about three years now and is probably 25' high. This year it appeared to be doing great. It flowered and then all of sudden last ...
view the full question and answer

red maple bark damage by squirrels
April 15, 2011 - We have two acres of land, largely covered by various oaks and cherry laurels -and, after many hours of cutting down chinese tallow trees..finally some red maples. Our problem is that we also have a s...
view the full question and answer

Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
August 14, 2012 - We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried ...
view the full question and answer

Grasshopper invasion in Box Elder SD
August 22, 2011 - I just bought a new home and there is an infestation of grasshoppers throughout the neighborhood. What shrubs and/or flowers could I plant that they may not like to eat?
view the full question and answer

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