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

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

Due to drought is pruning live oaks beneficial from Houston
December 07, 2011 - Would it be beneficial (presuming a continued spring drought) to prune live oak trees more severely than usual this winter? I'm thinking that it might help them to have less mass to support.
view the full question and answer

Oaks emitting substance in Lakeway TX
August 14, 2012 - We have two large oak trees in our yard that are emitting a clear, very sticky, non-fragrant substance. The leaves are beginning to be covered as is our deck. Bees are now attracted and I am worried ...
view the full question and answer

Trees blooming white in East Tennessee in April
April 07, 2010 - What kind of tree is blooming now, 4\6\10 in the mountains of east TN. They have white blooms?
view the full question and answer

Controlling live oak suckers in Florida
July 20, 2014 - How do I kill emerging live oak sprouts coming from mature tree root system
view the full question and answer

Native drought resistant evergreen plants for privacy hedgein clay soil in Texas
March 08, 2006 - My family would like to create privacy around our 4 acres of fence line. What native evergreen or fast growing bushes would work? We have terrible clay soil and need drought resistant plants.
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