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

Monday - June 10, 2013

From: South Bend, IN
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pests, Trees
Title: What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

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. The holes are soft if you poke at them. I can see no insects around the holes. Should I be concerned? We do not want to lose this tree as it is beautiful and shades our entire backyard. I read three other responses, but you were talking about a beetle found in TX and I was curious if you thought we could possibly have a similar problem.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is thinking that if he had 130 year old oak with holes oozing sap, he would get a knowledgeable person to take a look at it. It’s hard to diagnose a problem like this long distance. That knowledgeable person could be someone from the St. Joseph County Office of Purdue Extension or a certified arborist.

There is a bird that lives in Indiana, the yellow bellied sap  sucker, that bores holes in trees and uses the sap that comes out as food.  This could be your culprit, and your County Extension Agent could tell for sure.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why are my Rock Roses dying?
September 22, 2014 - I planted several rock roses last fall. This spring they have grown wonderfully, but all of a sudden, one shriveled and died. I took it out and replaced it. Now, another is starting to shrivel. It ...
view the full question and answer

Growth on trunk of Eastern Redbud
November 14, 2007 - My seven yr. old Eastern Redbud has a large patch (12x4inches) of white grey, shell or mushroom-like growth on the trunk. The bark has a wide split so the growth is on the layer of wood inside the sp...
view the full question and answer

Yellow bands around edges of leaves in Whitney TX
July 20, 2009 - How can you tell whether esperanzas are getting too much water or not enough - ours have a small yellow band around the edges of the leaves - crape myrtles - same question
view the full question and answer

New nursery plants with sappy spots from Round Rock, TX
September 09, 2012 - 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 trun...
view the full question and answer

Webs on tree trunk, probably bark lice
August 19, 2009 - webs on tree trunk and creeping up. See no spiders or worms. what could be. very fine, thick web
view the full question and answer

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