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

Sunday - September 09, 2012

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Shrubs
Title: New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We live on the west side of RR, near Cedar Park and recently bought three 15 gallon cherry laurels from a nursery. Started to plant them today as we bought them a week ago and noticed base of the trunk from top to bottom is covered in black spots and some look like sap coming out. What is it and how can I save them? There are hundreds of spots on the trunk, I can email a picture. Thanks!

ANSWER:

Honestly, if you still have your charge card receipt or other proof of purchase, we would hotfoot that Prunus caroliniana (Cherry laurel) back to the nursery. That sounds like an insect of some sort, and the loss of sap is a serious threat to the plant. Not only do you not want to spend the time and money planting that plant, you don't want whatever it is spreading to other parts of your garden. In fact, if you don't have proof of purchase, and the nursery won't admit liability, we would recommed leaving the infected plants there anyway, to get them out of your garden.

 

From the Image Gallery


Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

Carolina cherry-laurel
Prunus caroliniana

More Pests Questions

Georgia Monocots for Dodder Infested Location
September 02, 2015 - I have a 12'x12' area where we planted carrots, and we got a surprise - dodder! Next year we planted corn - no dodder! This year we planted cosmos, and behold, we had dodder. I understand monocot...
view the full question and answer

Worms in non-native snake plant from Hillsborough NC
September 17, 2011 - I purchased a snake plant this summer for my screened in porch. I did not repot it and left it in the plastic pot in came it. I was about to repot the plant to bring it in and noticed there are worm...
view the full question and answer

Topical treatment for poison ivy rash
November 12, 2008 - I would like to know a topical treatment for the poison ivy rash
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

Lily plants being chewed from Austin
June 20, 2013 - Something is chewing my lily plants to the ground. Any ideas what and do I stop them?
view the full question and answer

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