En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - August 02, 2014

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Live oaks dropping brown leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Eric Beckers

QUESTION:

We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I also bent back a few branches and the insides are whitish green. Any ideas of what could be causing this would be appreciated.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants contacted Eric Beckers with Texas Forest Service about your problem and this is what he says:

"Live oaks (and most other trees) in the Austin area remain under stress from this extended drought.  One of the reactions to stress is the senescing (dropping) of non-essential leaves, and with live oaks that usually means the older leaves of that year found further back on the stem or twig.  It is important to note that leaves further out on the twig are remaining green and lustrous...and attached!  Again, nothing abnormal for a healthy live oak to loose a small percentage of interior (older) leaves during the peak of summer, and they typically fall in various shades of yellow and brown.  However, if many leaves are shedding from the outer branch tips it might be time to have an arborist take a closer look at your valuable tree."

 

More Trees Questions

School children planting trees native to Oklahoma and North Texas
December 07, 2009 - Hello, I'll be going into grade school classrooms to teach children how to plant trees. Perhaps they will each plant a seed in a cup to take home to plant in their yard. I may even be able to get see...
view the full question and answer

Looking for a native mulberry tree for Woodlands, TX.
November 22, 2010 - Does a truly "native" mulberry tree exist and where can one get such a tree. So many I've seen are "white" or "chinese" and were imported for a never-to-happen silk industry. I'd like to pur...
view the full question and answer

Disappearance of leaves on desert willow in Tucson AZ
August 08, 2009 - We have a Lois Adams Desert Willow (Tucson, Az). The leaves will pump out and then a day or so later, all of the leaves are gone. The only bugs we've seen on it are very, very small ants. Could this ...
view the full question and answer

Japanese maple in New York
August 15, 2008 - I have a few questions: Do you know what zone Brooklyn, NY. is in? If I plant a Japanese Maple in my backyard, do you think it can tolerate almost full shade (1-2 hours of sun per day)? Also, is it...
view the full question and answer

Leaf drop from maple tree in Minnesota
August 15, 2008 - I have about a 30 ft maple tree in my yard, last fall I trimmed it pretty good because the branches were getting low where you could not walk under it or get grass to grow. This is the 2nd time in abo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center