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

Mountain laurel with fasciation
July 24, 2014 - My Texas Mountain Laurel bush has developed several "crested branches." What causes this, is it harmful & how do I get rid of them??? Thank you!
view the full question and answer

Split trunk in Bald Cypress in Uhland, TX
May 31, 2009 - I live just south of Austin, and near the pond (stock tank) is a bald cypress, young, about 12-15 yrs., and after this past year, drought and all, I was dismayed to find it not leafing out. When I in...
view the full question and answer

Time to Plant Trees and Shrubs in the Dallas Area
February 13, 2015 - Is it OK to plant evergreen shrubs-trees in January or February in the Dallas, Texas area?
view the full question and answer

Long term effects of pesticide from Lubbock TX
March 20, 2013 - I have 9 western pecan trees about 20 years old. Trunk sizes is from 18" to 39". I used a product Bayer Tree and Shrub, applied to the trees. I wonder what it will do to the trees. I talkd to Bayer ...
view the full question and answer

Drought-tolerant trees for planters in San Diego
August 09, 2012 - We need some ideas for a drought tolerant tree that will provide shade (4 foot raised planters in sunny location) not get too big when mature, and not too messy. San Diego
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center