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

Friday - July 13, 2007

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Advisability of trimming oak trees in August
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

In general,what is your opinion on pruning oak trees in August? If it is positive, should the extreme moisture of this year affect the timing?

ANSWER:

New oak wilt centers are started when a contaminated beetle finds a fresh wound on a healthy oak tree. In general, the heat of summer and the cold of winter are the best time to prune to prevent an oak wilt infection because beetle populations are lowest.

That said, insect populations, in general, increase during mild spring like weather and mild spring like weather is when oak wilt fungal mats are most likely to form. So, the most likely time a contaminated beetle will find your tree is when the weather is mild. Given the mild and moist summer we have been having in central Texas, Mr. Smarty Plants would advise not to risk infection by wounding your oaks in August.

If you choose to prune in August, the Texas Forest Service recommends that you always paint pruning cuts as soon as the cuts are made. When pruning cuts are made during the proper times of the year there still maybe a few contaminated nitudulid beetles in the area. If the pruning cuts are painted with a pruning paint or latex paint this will prevent these sapfeeding Nitidulid beetles from feeding and infecting your oak tree with the oak wilt fungus.

To learn more about oak wilt identification, management, and prevention, visit www.texasoakwilt.org.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Safe Concrete Planters For Plants?
February 24, 2015 - We are building low concrete walls around a patio (in Washington, DC). Can we create the walls to act as planters or will the lime leaching make the soil too inhospitable for most plants?
view the full question and answer

Help for Collapsing Tradescantia
August 14, 2013 - My tradescantia has completely collapsed at the crown. The stems are yellowish. This happened once before when I had it planted in full sun and I just had to discard it. This time I have one plante...
view the full question and answer

White fuzz on pine tree bark in Dartmouth MA
July 13, 2010 - We have white fuzz on our pine tree bark?
view the full question and answer

Exposed area on native elm in Texas
December 26, 2008 - I have an elm tree starting to show signs of dying. It has an exposed area at the trunk of the tree turning white. When it rains there is a 6-inch strip (the width of the exposed area) running up th...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Strawberry Hedgehog cactus from Temple TX
June 03, 2012 - I had purchased a Strawberry hedgehog Cactus (echinocereus stramineus) a few years ago from the Wildflower Center's annual plant sale and planted it then. It has now started to brown from bottom to t...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center