En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Determine oak wilt in red oaks

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

Red spots on white flower of Anemopsis californica
July 05, 2009 - Do you know what the red spots are on the white flower of the California native, Anemopsis californica? Is it a fungus, insect, or just physiological?
view the full question and answer

Mildew and rot in navel orange tree in California
September 02, 2008 - I have a great navel orange tree that seems to have two problems. One of them looks like powdery mildew and the other is some kind of black rot. I have sprayed it several times to no avail. I live ...
view the full question and answer

Why is my weeping willow looking so bad?
June 15, 2009 - My weeping willow suddenly up and looked like it died Yellow leaves dried up and dropping off It is planted in what is called "Wet lands" Clay soil water wet Just looks like it is dying
view the full question and answer

Problems with transplanted Texas Madrones from Junction TX
May 13, 2014 - We planted 3 little Texas madrones last year 9 - 12 inches high. 2 of them seem to have some kind of black blight along the edges of the leaves that I don't think was the result of our late freezes. ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on lantana in Dallas
September 14, 2005 - For several years, the lantana plants in my backyard in Dallas grew and bloomed all Summer and Fall until the first real cold snap. I've loved having a native plant that didn't need constant care 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