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
2 ratings

Wednesday - October 01, 2008

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Replacement for dead oak tree after hurricane
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

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. Is it an old wives tale that you can't plant another oak there? I'd be glad to send a picture of this sad tree. I was thinking of replacing it with LBJ Magnolia tree. Any thoughts?

ANSWER:

Hurricane Ike was truly a disaster, and this is the second question we have received from Pearland on tree replacements. See this previous answer, which covers types of oaks recommended for replacement by an HOA. We mention this because we're curious as to why your oak tree died. You didn't say what oak you have, but you'll notice in the answer we linked you to that several oaks are very susceptible to oak wilt.  We couldn't find any substantiation to the idea that you could not plant another oak where one had already grown. Oaks do provide themselves with some protection from other plants encroaching on their territory, defending root space, nutrient availability and water, as do many other plants; see this previous answer on allelopathy of oaks. But, if your tree died of some disease, if for no other reason, we would recommend you not replace it with another oak, at least not one susceptible to oak wilt. 

We would recommend that you get a trained arborist to assist you with this. In the first place, removal of the dead oak is going to be necessary, including checking for disease. In the second place, planting a 45 gallon tree is a job for specialized equipment and knowledgeable personnel. If your HOA did not give you a list of replacement trees from which to choose, we have three that we would recommend, including a magnolia, since you indicated you were interested in planting one.

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) - relatively fast-growing, difficult to grow anything under it because of deep shade, evergreen

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) resistant to oak wilt, drought resistant, long-lived, relatively fast-growing, resistant to air pollution

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) - hardy, drought resistant, adaptable to broad range of soil types


Magnolia grandiflora

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus macrocarpa

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Frost protection for non-native citrus trees from Austin
November 24, 2013 - With ice predicted, should I pick citrus, lemons, limes, satsumas that are not quite ready?
view the full question and answer

Holes in leaves of wax myrtle from Austin
April 30, 2011 - I just purchased 4 of the 5 gallon Wax Myrtles at the last spring plant sale and after planting them, they are getting eaten by bugs leaving holes in the leaves. I can't find any of the bugs doing th...
view the full question and answer

Splitting bark on non-native mimosa from Buda TX
June 24, 2012 - What would cause my Mimosa tree to have splitting bark. I've only lived in this house for 8 months and am learning about this tree. The other tree seems fine. It looks as though it split and then ...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting large trees in Austin, TX
March 30, 2007 - Hello, I'm new to Austin and live in Circle C Subdivision off of Hwy 45 and Spruce Canyon. We would like to plant a couple of trees that will provide shade. I've read your Q&As but would like ad...
view the full question and answer

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
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