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

Thursday - March 11, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Need help with a misshapen Monterey Oak in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

In the Fall of 2008, I purchased a very tall Monterey Oak from TreeFolks at the Burger Center Sale. Since the wind was so high, all the tall trees were on the ground, and I guess that is why I did not notice the long bare trunk between the first set of branches and the top set. After I had it planted, I became aware of a bare area of about 3-4 feet. I decided to see what it developed after becoming establish, hoping it might put out new branches on the bare part. It has not and the new growth this year is another very long whipping stem. Although I have never believed in topping a tree, I feel this one really needs to be cut back to about 12-18 inches above the lowest branches. These branches will need to be cut off anyway and once you do, you will have a twelve foot tree bole with no branches!!! I have attached pictures so you can see what I am talking about. Please let me know what you think should be done with this tree. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants is having some difficulty in visualizing your oak, so please go to the Plant Identification Page and follow the directions for submitting photos to us. A picture is worth a thousand words.

Tree topping is really low on our list of tree care techniques. I'm including these two links that will hopefully convince you that topping is not a good idea.

Plant Amnesty

Trees are Good

Another approach to your tree problem is to consult a certified arborist. These three links can help you in your search.

Evaluating and Choosing an Arborist

Web Search Tool to FInd an Arborist

Site to Learn About and FInd a Consulting Arborist


 

 

More Trees Questions

Safe grazing for donkeys and goats from Osteen FL
June 30, 2012 - I am having a very difficult time trying to find shrubs, hedges, plants, flowers, or trees etc. that are safe for donkeys and goats. We live in Zone 9 and have a small farm. I've had to pull every ...
view the full question and answer

Bald cypress with chlorosis in Texas
June 15, 2009 - I have a 6' tall Bald Cypress planted 2 years ago which just this year appears to be suffering from chlorosis. The tree was bought from a chain store. It receives some drainage water from my washin...
view the full question and answer

Replacing Drought-Stricken Cedars
January 16, 2012 - Hello, I live in Williamson County on a couple acres. We have several dead cedars as a result of drought; we're reluctant to cut them down because many of them provide a friendly barrier between us...
view the full question and answer

Wanting to grow a Buckley Oak in Amarillo, TX
January 20, 2016 - I live in Amarillo Texas in the Texas Panhandle. I recently became interested in the Buckley Oak and was wondering if it might grow well here and if so, where I might find one that I could purchase a...
view the full question and answer

Tree (evergreen) to grow in area with high water table
March 27, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in central Austin, Tarrytown specifically, just blocks from the aptly named Spring Lane. (sometimes we hit water in our back yard within 2 feet of the surface.) We los...
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