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
1 rating

Wednesday - October 08, 2008

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Recommendations for mature oak for Austin
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Mr. smarty pants- We would like to purchase a mature oak tree and have it planted in our yard in Austin. Recommendations, things to be aware of, you know, the general smarty pants treatment. Thank you!

ANSWER:

Hey!  It's Mr. Smarty PLANTS, not Pants!

First of all, Mr. SP would recommend that you avoid any of the oaks that are prone to oak wilt since tree mortality from the disease in Travis County is high.  While all oak species are more or less susceptible to oak wilt, the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership has identified the following oaks as extremely susceptible to oak wilt (and thus, to be avoided)Quercus buckleyi (Buckley oak), Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak), Quercus texana (Texas red oak), Quercus marilandica (blackjack oak)—and has identified the live oaks (Quercus virginiana (live oak) and Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak) as intermediate in their susceptibility to the fungus. 

Mr. Smarty Plants recommends that you choose one of the white oaks (Quercus stellata (post oak), Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak), Quercus polymorpha (netleaf white oak), Quercus muehlenbergii (chinkapin oak), Quercus laceyi (Lacey oak), Quercus sinuata (bastard oak) or Quercus sinuata var. breviloba (white shinoak)) that are resistant to oak wilt.

You, of course, want to select a healthy tree and then plant it properly in an ideal location.  For that purpose, the Texas Tree Planting Guide from the Texas Forest Service has good advice about selecting trees from a nursery, planting, pruning and other tree issues that Mr. SP recommends that you read.

You can search for nurseries in Austin who specialize in native plants by visiting our National Suppliers Directory.  You can also check out our upcoming Plant Sale & Gardening Festival for the above recommended oak species.


Quercus stellata

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus polymorpha

Quercus muehlenbergii

Quercus laceyi

Quercus sinuata

Quercus sinuata var. breviloba

 

 

More Trees Questions

Huisache blooms when freeze is over
May 02, 2005 - I live in San Antonio, TX and have heard that when the Huisache blooms all danger of frost or freeze is over. Is that true? And, this year to date (April 22, 2005) we have not seen the Huisache bloo...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting Hollies in winter
January 12, 2010 - I want to transplant, relocate holly trees in January. Is that ok, and what is the best holly for landscaping?
view the full question and answer

Care of lemon cypress from Winter Springs FL
April 14, 2011 - Please send me information on care of lemon cypress plant. I have one in small container on my patio. Should I take it in the house? Send any helpful information on its care. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Keeping a Texas Madrone alive from Belton TX
October 01, 2012 - I have found a supplier of a Texas Madrone and have been wanting to grow one ever since our family vacation to Big Bend NP. My question is how do you have success with this tree? Many people say it is...
view the full question and answer

Small ornamental tree in Buffalo, NY
August 05, 2009 - Hi.. My family and I have recently moved from coastal North Carolina to Buffalo NY. We have chosen to live in south Buffalo and therefore have a small front yard. We are looking for the perfect tree...
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