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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Wednesday - April 07, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Is it wise to cut suckers from live oak branches in April in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My live oak branches are filling with suckers and I would like to cut them now, April. Is that wise?

ANSWER:

Short answer: No.

However small the open area in the bark would be after you nipped off the suckers, that would be enough to attract the nitidulid beetle, the little monster which is the carrier of Oak Wilt Disease. From an article in the San Antonio Express News, here is an article on Preventing Oak Wilt by Lynn Rawe, Extension Agent-Horticulture, Bexar County. Also, read this article from the Texas Oak Wilt Parnership.

The best time to prune the Live Oak is between December 1 and February 1. The worst time is between February 15 and June 15. 

 

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