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

Shrubs and trees over septic tank in Killen AL
May 20, 2013 - Our church has 5year old blue rug juniper, a crape myrtle and two shrubs I can't identify planted over the septic tank which is surrounded with concrete and asphalt. I am afraid these will cause a pr...
view the full question and answer

Damage to Pine Tree on Cape Cod, MA
June 11, 2013 - My pine tree on Cape Cod has bark that is perforated with holes covering the entire tree. Bark can be removed by hand. Looks dead. What did this?
view the full question and answer

Native plants of Taos and Los Alamos NM from Houston
April 07, 2012 - Hi, Mr. Smarty Plants, can you recommend a guidebook for the native plants of the Taos/Los Alamos region? (I'm most interested in forbs.) I'll be headed there in May--is there anything I should es...
view the full question and answer

Identification of tree with round purple leaves
May 14, 2014 - What is tne name of the purple leaf tree whose leaves are spherical? Maybe 1 to 2" in diameter? A neighbor who has moved now, had one but cut it down before i could find out or rescue it. It wasnt ...
view the full question and answer

Problem with baldcypress tree
May 27, 2011 - Two of my three 20 year old Bald Cypress trees appear to have leafed out but are now brown in parts of the tree. The brown area is at the tops of the trees which are probably 40 ft. high. They were...
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