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

Thursday - July 25, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Transplants, Trees
Title: Caterpillars on Mountain Laurel from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My 1-yr old mountain laurel has been decimated by small yellow and black catepillars. It recovered a bit and pushed out some fresh new growth, and more came and decimated that too. Are these caterpillars good guys or bad guys? Should I be picking them off or leaving them be to make lovely butterflies? Will it kill the tree?

ANSWER:

Here is a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer that addresses not only the caterpillars but also the fact that your Mountain Laurel may be suffering from transplant shock. Be sure and follow the additional links in that question.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas mountain laurel
Sophora secundiflora

More Trees Questions

Mountain Laurel and Desert Willow in pots or ground in Brady, TX
May 09, 2006 - I would really appreciate your advice if a Texas Mountain Laurel (now a 1 gal. size) and a Desert Willow (now a 3 gal.) are good candidates for planting in containers and, if so, what size for each? ...
view the full question and answer

Falling Balls from an Oak in Kingsland TX
May 25, 2015 - I have a large Live Oak in the back yard, with St. Augustine grass under it. It is April 3, 2015. The leaves have fallen and now little tiny round balls are falling. I am hearing a popping noise und...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a specimen shade tree in San Rafael, CA
June 04, 2013 - I'm looking for a specimen shade tree that can get 30'x30', that doesn't drop a bunch of crud (seeds, etc) on the patio (leaves are ok), medium to low water requirement, roots are behaved, zone 9,...
view the full question and answer

Do I need to plant a male winterberry? yes
October 19, 2007 - I planted a female winterberry in early July & although I have been watering it regularly the leaves turned brown on the tips in Sept. No berries yet so will I have to plant a male? Thanks, Carol
view the full question and answer

Live oak trees dropping leaves in clumps
December 08, 2009 - We have several large mature Live Oak trees in our Austin TX neighborhood. Now that the rains have come back and the acorns are falling, two of our four trees are also dropping large amounts of leave...
view the full question and answer

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