Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - October 08, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Leaves falling early from red oaks.
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

The leaves on my Texas red oaks are dropping off prematurely. This usually doesn't happen until late November/early December. I'm wondering if it has something to do with our wet summer, or if I should be concerned about disease or insects? They are growing out of a very rocky limestone hillside. Thanks!

ANSWER:

This seems to be a common phenomenon with the red oaks around Austin—at least around Mr. Smarty Plant's house and neighborhood. Some leaves are turning red and/or brown and falling.  A few green ones are falling, too. However, on the majority of the trees there are a large number or leaves remaining. It could well be connected to our very strange wetter and cooler than normal spring and summer or some other environmental cause.  Since this is a general occurrence it is not likely a disease or an insect infestation but just a slight alteration of the normal cycle for the trees.  I don't think this it is something to be overly concerned about.
 

More Trees Questions

Ground cover under trees from Austin
November 03, 2012 - I need ground cover plants that can tolerate leaf litter and grow under oak tree shade.
view the full question and answer

Replacement for dead oak tree after hurricane
October 01, 2008 - Mr. Smarty Plants, It still is hard to believe but my dead Oak tree survived H.Ike! Now that I've gotten that dreaded letter from the HOA, they want me to replace it with at least a 45 gallon tree....
view the full question and answer

Plants for soil with basalt outcroppings in Idaho
March 30, 2008 - We have basalt (lava) outcropping in part of our back yard and know we'll have to search for pockets of soil in which to plant. Any suggestions about what trees or shrubs would have a chance in thes...
view the full question and answer

Destructive landscape crews in The Woodlands TX
October 20, 2012 - Hi. We need help. We recently moved to a house where landscape crews have been blowing away the leaf litter from the front yard for many years. The underbrush was also cleared long ago. The result...
view the full question and answer

Redbud leaves turning yellow in mid-summer
July 13, 2012 - The leaves on our redbud trees are turning yellow. The yellow leaves are pale with no other spots and no dark veins. I don't know for sure which variety of redbud they are or how old they are (more t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.