En Español

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
1 rating

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

Evergreen Privacy Hedge for Long Island
June 29, 2012 - I live on Long Island and want a privacy evergreen hedge partial sun.
view the full question and answer

Looking for a Privacy Barrier Plant for NC
August 21, 2014 - I am trying to determine the best plant for a privacy barrier for my area in NC that has clay soil. I have a 6 foot high fence but need something 12 feet or taller. It has to be something that does no...
view the full question and answer

Planting a redbud in VA
April 20, 2011 - What is the best time of year to plant Redbud (Cercis canadensis)in Burke, VA, 22152 - fall or spring or does it matter? And is there a certain size tree that is best to purchase for greatest chance o...
view the full question and answer

Using cedar chips as mulch in Wimberley, TX
August 19, 2010 - In TX Hlll Country there is an abundance of wood chips, usually "cedar", which I have used as plant mulch. Since wood chips extract nitrogen to decay, do you consider chips a poor choice as plant m...
view the full question and answer

Lantana trees in Wyoming MI
August 16, 2010 - We love lantana with its multicolored flowers. This weekend we visited Michigan State University and saw "lantana trees".They were amazing!! Have these trees been grown from the annual plant we have...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center