Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 - July 22, 2009

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Brown spots on live oak leaves in Cedar Park, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a live oak that was planted 4 years ago. It had several brown spots last summer, but recovered over the winter. Now it has lots of brown leaves and looks very sad. What is the best way to help it get better? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Diagnosing plant diseases or disorders via email is tricky business. 

The most likely cause of the brown leaves on your live oak is water stress -- either too little or too much.  Since Central Texas is now in the midst of a two-year drought and an exceptionally hot summer, we going to say the most likely cause is too little water.  However, overwatering can be just as deadly.

Disease is a possibility.  Oak Wilt disease is common in your area.  However, we would not expect to see it just now since the fungus is most active in the spring and fall.

The best way to find out for sure what is wrong with your tree and to learn what to do about it is to employ a certified arborist.  Another alternative is to consult with your county's Cooperative Extension Service agent.

 

More Trees Questions

Live Christmas tree in Katy, TX
March 16, 2010 - My husband is really bent towards having a live "Christmas tree" in the front yard. I hate to use anything non-native so I am looking for a native Texas juniper shrub or a small tree that can be tri...
view the full question and answer

What's causing holes in trunk of white oak tree in SouthBend IN?
June 10, 2013 - We have a huge White Oak in our backyard that is approx. 130 years old. This evening I became aware that there are several small holes around the trunk that appear to be oozing a dark sappy liquid. ...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen Conifer for Moist, Full Sun Site in Ohio
May 09, 2015 - We need to find an evergreen conifer, classic holiday-shaped tree that will tolerate a very moist, but not soaking wet, site in full sun.
view the full question and answer

Hackberry stripped by Cedar Waxwings or American Goldfinches
March 27, 2007 - I live in Fort Worth. My one and only tree in the backyard is a 23 year old hackberry. While not infested with gall or weevils, we have been invaded this past few weeks by hordes of small, chubby, yel...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Phoenix AZ
April 14, 2013 - I live in the center of Phoenix, Az. On the eastern side of my house we have some 2 story condos next door. The width of the side yard is about 12'-15' and it gets lots of shade. I also have my powe...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.