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
1 rating

Monday - August 24, 2009

From: Mamou, LA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Pruning, Trees
Title: Trimming live oaks in Mamou LA
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have 3 large Live Oak trees in our yard. The problem we are having is when we trim a branch off so we can walk under the branch, the whole branch dies back. Is there a certain way to trim the limbs so they will not die ? We like them to hang low.

ANSWER:

First, you might want to learn more about the trees you have. The only live oak native to Louisiana is Quercus virginiana (live oak), which is also native in and around Evangeline Parish, so we are going to assume that is the tree you have. 

These are very fine, valuable trees and deserve good care to keep them healthy and long-lived. Read this article from American Forests Live Oak: The Ultimate Southerner for background on care. For more specific information, go to this USDA Forest Service website How To Prune Trees. There is a Table of Contents, and you should ideally read all the articles, but the most important one at this point is Pruning Practices that Harm Trees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

More Trees Questions

Survivability of birch trees in Texas
August 16, 2006 - Is it known whether Gray birch (Betula populifolia Marsh) will grow in North Texas? It seems like the only birch variety which might - and how short is a "short lifespan" for a tree?
view the full question and answer

Perennial Suggestions for Under Ash Trees in Minnesota
June 12, 2013 - With our house we have inherited 2 ash trees in our front yard with a large amount landscaping underneath. I'm replacing the landscaping but there are tree roots at the surface preventing me from bei...
view the full question and answer

Mexican Plum not doing well in Liberty Hill, TX.
September 03, 2010 - Two summers have passed since I planted my Mexican Plum. It's in full sun. It seems to have added height but not much width. It's virtually a 7 foot stick with 1 foot branches from top to bottom. It...
view the full question and answer

Which is best-Oklahoma Redbud or Texas Redbud in Austin?
March 25, 2010 - I live in Northwest Austin and would like to plant a small redbud tree in my front yard. My yard gets full sun. Which is better - the Texas redbud or the Oklahoma redbud?
view the full question and answer

Will a Norfolk pine survive winter in Houston
May 29, 2008 - If I transplant a Norfolk pine in the summer, or when is the best time, will it survive the winter growing in Houston Tx? Can you give me some suggestions for fast growing vines facing the front of my...
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