En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Symmetrical Holes in Live Oak leaves.

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 - April 08, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Symmetrical Holes in Live Oak leaves.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

We have 2 young live oaks - quercus virginianum trees and their brand new leaves show two symmetrical rows of pin-sized holes punctured along the length of them. What could have caused this?

ANSWER:

A technical point: since you're in Austin, Texas, the species of live oak in your landscape is probably Quercus fusiformis (plateau oak).

The symmetrical holes in the leaves are made by insects just as the leaves are emerging and before they unfold.  Billbugs, plantbugs and caterpillars are all known to cause the type of damage you're seeing, though not necessarily on oaks.  If only a few leaves are involved, there's no need to worry.  If a large percentage of the leaves on your trees are damaged, we recommend contacting a certified arborist for positive identification and control of the pest.

 

More Trees Questions

Yucca rostrata needs some help in Austin, TX.
September 16, 2013 - We planted an expensive 5-6 foot Yucca rostrata last fall. It bloomed beautifully in the spring. We installed an irrigation link to water the recently planted areas with succulents, viburnums, spart...
view the full question and answer

Bark splitting in old tulip tree in Red Creek, NY.
May 18, 2013 - Hello, We have a tulip tree that has some bark splitting I guess I would call it. The tree is older and very tall. On the north side of it starting at the bottom of the trunk to about 8-9 feet up i...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID of unknown purchased plant from Boise ID
June 24, 2012 - Hi! I bought a tree that the sales person didnt know what it was. I thought it was a cherry tree and now after about 3-4 yrs I know it is but..How do I know if it is an ornamental tree or real fruit t...
view the full question and answer

Protecting a new patio from oak roots
September 01, 2008 - Hello, I have just formed up for a new patio. I have a Live Oak tree about 2' away from the patio. It has a trunk diameter of about 10", I believe 20-25 years old. Problem: I have 2 large roots in ...
view the full question and answer

pruning crape myrtle (ugh, non-native)
March 05, 2012 - We would like to plant a Dynamite Crape myrtle in front of our front window. They grow 20' to 30'. Can I trim it each year to about 15' to 20'? Should we plant it approximately 5 feet from the ...
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