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?


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

Sunday - December 20, 2009

From: San Antonio, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Vines
Title: Are grape vines killing oaks in San Antonio
Answered by: Barbara Medford


I have some large live oaks growing in sand on some property I have south of San Antonio that are slowly dying one limb at a time. Some large mustang grape vines are growing in and around them and I think that's the most likely reason they're in trouble. Two of the trees only have one large limb left alive. What are my chances of saving the trees if I cut down the grape vines?


We are not experts in plant diseases, but we can tell you that if your oaks continue to be covered by grape vines, their large leaves shading the oak leaves from essential sunlight, their chances of living are zero.

For other possibilities, we will refer you to some websites that have specific information on symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of some common live oak problems:

From TreeHelp.com Oak Wilt

From Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories: Live Oaks in Texas

Since you mentioned no other symptoms (except for death), we couldn't possibly make any recommendations from this distance. If you feel that the shading of the grape vines was not the only possibility, and nothing in our referenced articles struck a chord, we suggest you contact the Texas A&M Agri LIFE Extension Office for Bexar County, which can likely give you more specific help. 



More Vines Questions

Flowering vine that will bloom in East Texas in March
October 08, 2008 - What kind of flowering vine will bloom at the end of March in New Caney, Tex. 77357?
view the full question and answer

Lonicera sempervirens not harmful to dogs from Naperville IL
December 16, 2012 - Is the trumpet honeysuckle (lonicera sempervirens) harmful to dogs if eaten? I have been told in the past that the common trumpet vine is harmful, but this appears to be different. Thank you!!
view the full question and answer

Native vine for privacy fence in Tennessee
September 29, 2008 - I am looking for a vine for privacy that grows in width not up; thru a standard 4' chain link fence. Colorfull. Can you help?
view the full question and answer

Information about the wormvine orchid, Vanilla barbellata
November 27, 2007 - Hi My name is Santiago I'm from Puerto Rico and discover this Vanilla orchid in the forest, this orchid is V. barbellata var. alba? You have some information of how identify the V. barbe...
view the full question and answer

Plants for area near saltwater pool near Dallas
May 25, 2009 - Could you recommend perennial plants that would do well next to my saltwater pool just north of Dallas (Corinth) Texas?
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.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center