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

Problems with gaura in Kyle TX
May 10, 2011 - Gaura - I seem to have something going on with this plant. I've tried fungicide that also works on mealy bugs and spider mites, etc., but they're looking rather puny? Any suggestions? thanks
view the full question and answer

Distressed Red Oak tree in Pflugerville, TX.
July 22, 2012 - I have a large (40 ft) Red Oak tree in my yard that is distressed. It started with yellowing leaves, with darker veins. Then small brown spots appeared, followed by browning arount the leaves edges. N...
view the full question and answer

Cotton root rot in Purple Sage, Leucophyllus frutescens
November 09, 2005 - We had three Purple Sage shrubs in our front yard. They did very well for about three years and then this past year they just died. From what I have read they are pretty hardy so we are really stum...
view the full question and answer

Reason for decline of Morella cerifera (wax myrtle) in Virginia
March 30, 2007 - We have Wax Myrtle bushes in our back yard. They were about 2 feet tall when planted 2 years ago and now are about 7-8 feet tall. The leaves have turned brown and are dropping essentially denuding the...
view the full question and answer

Vascular wilt in Rhus virens
June 22, 2007 - Hi Smarty: Our evergreen sumac grew beautifully this spring (it is about 2 years old -- we got it at the LBJ Wildflower Center plant sale). Then its leaves suddenly drooped last month (May) and turn...
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