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
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - October 27, 2004

From: austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possible reasons for early leaf drop of post oaks in Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a post oak tree in my back yard that has been losing its leaves since mid-September. This is my first year in the house, and I am surprised that the tree would lose its leaves while the temperatures are still warm. Is this typical or should I seek professional assistance?

ANSWER:

The post oak (Quercus stellata) is very sensitive to root disturbance (such as that caused by construction work) that compacts the soil and lowers the amount of oxygen available. You don't say whether or not your house is newly constructed, but if it is this might be the reason for the leaf loss. You might like to read what the TAMU Aggie Horticulture page says about the post oak.
You can also read about the post oak on the Wildflower Center web page.
To be on the safe side with your tree, it would probably be wise to consult a reliable arborist to look at it. You can find a list of Austin members of the International Society of Arboriculture on their web page and you can find a list of Texas members of the American Society of Consulting Arborists by searching on their web page.
 

More Trees Questions

Plants for shade under pine trees in Grapevine TX
May 16, 2010 - What plants are good to put under pine trees in the shade? I live in the Dallas Fort Worth area? The previous owners stuck a Japanese Maple in there that seems to be ok and some sort of holly bush (n...
view the full question and answer

Recently planted live oak tree in Boerne, TX
February 07, 2009 - My brother planted a live oak in August. It was from a nursery and had a root ball. It looks dead but I keep watering it. The trunk is about 6 inches around. The leaves died but when the winds came th...
view the full question and answer

Tree with tap root for small area near Dallas
September 07, 2009 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I live in Coppell, TX (a suburb of Dallas) & am looking for a tree to plant near our pool to provide some shade. The current tree (a silver leaf maple) is dying. My husband thi...
view the full question and answer

Windbreaks for Monterey County, CA
May 31, 2013 - I am trying to find good wind breakers for Monterey County area, very windy in the valley.
view the full question and answer

Native tree for San Diego, California
September 19, 2010 - I have conflicting info about the Mayten tree. Pro: recommended patio tree, medium water needs, does not drop seed or leaves. Con: broadly invasive suckers, messy drop. I am in San Diego, Californ...
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