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

Wednesday - December 12, 2007

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Determine oak wilt in red oaks
Answered by: Candace Fountoulakis

QUESTION:

I am concerned my red oaks have oak wilt. How can I tell what is wrong with them?

ANSWER:

Determining if oak wilt has been contracted by a red oak starts with looking at the tree while leaves are still present to see if any areas have turned brown or put on fall color before they should have, the presence of dead leaves on a single branch or if young green leaves have wilted or fallen off.  Red oaks that are infected with the oak wilt fungus will die rather quickly. A professional evaluation of the tree on site where a sample from the trunk can be taken would be advisable. A lab analysis will determine if oak wilt is present. If the tree has been killed by the fungus, it should be cut down and the wood removed, not stored. The fungus can live on under the bark and created a new generation of spores in the spring from mats under the bark. This will cause the disease to spread to other trees when beetles are present as well. 

Please visit the website www.texasoakwilt.org to see photos of diseased leaves, vendor lists and other helpful information about determining the health of your oaks. Other diseases of trees cause similar symptoms that may not be fatal to your red oaks, so a professional certified arborist is your most reliable resource to determine what is wrong with your trees. I have attached a link to our plant database on Shumard red oaks, as well as an image from our gallery.

 Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak)

 

From the Image Gallery


Shumard oak
Quercus shumardii

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Salt from water softener affecting roses.
October 12, 2007 - I have a water softener at my well and wonder if an accumulation of salt over time is causing problems for my roses. After several years of doing really well the branches turn brown and eventually die...
view the full question and answer

A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
May 08, 2012 - We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out...
view the full question and answer

Damaged leaves on bottlebrush buckeye from Glen Mills PA
June 09, 2013 - My recently planted bottlebrush buckeye plants' leaves are looking damaged but it doesn't look like insect or fungus damage. They look battered by wind but I don't understand why that would happen...
view the full question and answer

Recovery of damaged fuchsia plant in hanging basket
July 23, 2007 - I had a beautiful fuchsia plant hanging on my porch. The hanger gave way and the plant fell straight down into another flower bed. The fuchsia seemed ok. I put it back in the pot put up new strong ...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify leaf extensions on the leaves of an elm sapling in Houston, Tx.
May 22, 2013 - I have an elm sapling which grows strange leave extensions on its leaves. Can I send you a picture? Tree looks healthy
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