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

Tuesday - September 04, 2007

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possibility of oak wilt or iron deficiency
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

This spring my two oak trees, 4" and 7" in diameter, in my yard in Kyle started showing very light green leaves with green veins. I've been told this is chlorosis, so I treated them with a couple of granular products containing iron, purchased locally. Also, I started watering them weekly. This treatment seems to be successful. The appearance of light green leaves has decreased, and growth on both trees has greatly increased in terms of new leaves and branches. My question: The new growth shows the light green leaf color, and on one of the trees the new leaves seem to start out with a brownish color. These new leaves then change color from light brown to to light green, and finally change in color to be pretty much like the mature leaves. Should I regard the color of the new leaves as indicating chlorosis, or are new leaves supposed to start out light green or brownish color? Should I continue the iron treatments, and if so how often? Another question: The 4" diameter tree has black dots on the leaves. I've been told this is a fungus and not to worry about it. Should I treat this tree for fungus? Thanks for your help. or

ANSWER:

We don't want to unduly alarm you, but you should consider the possibility that your trees may be infected with Oak Wilt Disease. Some of the symptoms you describe could indicate Oak Wilt Disease. The Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership website provides a tremendous amount of information about diagnosing and treating trees infected with the Oak Wilt fungus as well as preventing its occurence and spread.

However, since adding iron seemed to help your trees, chances are they are suffering from iron deficiency. New oak growth is often a bronze color which changes to green as the new stem and leaves mature. This is a normal condition and is, in fact, often very attractive.

The black dots on the leaves of your tree may or may not be a fungus. To find out for sure, it is a good idea to contact the state Cooperative Extension Service agent in your county for a diagnosis.

 

More Trees Questions

Tahitian gardenias (Gardenia taitensis) salt and wind resistance in Hawaii
February 03, 2006 - Are Tahitian Gardenias salt tolerant? We live on a rocky coastline in Hawaii and we get a lot of salt spray.
view the full question and answer

Killing regrowing shoots of a downed hackberry tree
June 28, 2013 - Hackberry plants won't die. You and others have suggested to cut the suckers or saplings to get rid of them. Over the years I have continued to cut the same saplings and the only thing I have now ar...
view the full question and answer

When should a redbud start blooming?
March 06, 2009 - Does it take a couple or more years for a redbud tree to bloom? I had some in Houston when I lived there and it seems like it took a long time for them to bloom. I now live in Richards (Near Huntsvill...
view the full question and answer

Crape myrtle in Austin
August 01, 2012 - Please don't bother to answer my question about how to treat a crepe myrtle with sticky stuff falling from it. I just found the answer on your site. Good site, by the way.
view the full question and answer

Leaves dropping from a potted Mesquite
August 11, 2014 - I have a Prosopis pubescens (Screwbean Mesquite) that I purchased at a nursery in Alpine, TX just a few miles away from me. It was a in nursery style black plastic container. The mesquite is perhaps a...
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