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
Not Yet Rated

Friday - October 09, 2009

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Brownish haze on live oak leaves in Austin, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

My live oak tree leaves are getting a brownish "haze" on them, almost as if they have been spray painted (lightly) with brown paint. I did use the oak wilt identifier and that is not at all what it looks like. What could it be? It started with one of my trees (I have 9 on my property) and now it's moved to another. We planted them 3 years ago, and they have been mostly thriving. The first tree to show symptoms was planted (accidentally) along a fault line between the existing clay soil and the back fill from the developer of our community, and we had been having trouble with cave-in of the soil around the roots. We did remedy that situation, and attributed the leaf-browning to perhaps air pockets around the roots. However, the second tree to show the same symptoms was planted in stable earth, and is actually the largest of our trees, having grown the most since planting.

ANSWER:

We have noticed it, too.  While we are not certain of its cause, we suspect the severe drought, possibly combined with the unusually hot weather this summer took its toll on either the chlorophyll, the chloroplasts in which the chlorophyll is contained or entire cells within tissues of the oak leaves. 

Usually considered evergreens, live oaks are actually deciduous trees that shed their leaves in late winter or early spring just as new leaves are emerging.  When the new leaves appear on your trees in February or March of next year they should be a healthy, green color.

 

More Trees Questions

Shade trees for Tucson AZ
May 25, 2012 - I need to plant some "fast growing" trees or shrubs on my southwest yard in order to reduce the heat in my bedroom. What do you suggest? I live in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you in advance. I'm...
view the full question and answer

Grafting to a cherry laurel for edible fruit in Austin
July 01, 2010 - I was the one who asked earlier about grafting to a Cherry Laurel. I will happily graft a local plum on it, say a Mexican Plum or American Plum or one of the naturalized peaches (a friend has an India...
view the full question and answer

Trees for shade in Austin
May 20, 2012 - I live in Austin and I am looking for a good tree to plant under a large live oak I have in my backyard. Something slow-growing of course and, the garden only gets late day sun for about an hour. Filt...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress knees in leachfield from Ventura CA
March 20, 2013 - Hey, I planted a seedling 20+ years ago which has turned out to be a 40'bald cypress that's now 40'. I'm a native southerner and would hate to cut it down but it's putting up knees in my septic s...
view the full question and answer

Heat tolerant arborvitae for Spring TX
September 20, 2012 - Is there an arborvitae that would be heat-tolerant to Spring, Texas (north of Houston) and amenable to neutral clay soil?
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