Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
1 rating

Friday - January 27, 2006

From: New Braunfels, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Possible identification of Post Oak in New Braunfels, TX
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I live 6 miles north of New Braunfels in the Hill Country and own 5 acres of land. The property consists of many escarpment live oaks, texas persimon, and ashe juniper. I believe I also have some Texas Red Oak, Texas Sycamore and other oak trees that I am having difficulty identifying. These oaks are the reason why I am writing this since I am wondering if you can help in identifying them. They are deciduous, are largely upright, are growing out of limestone, range from 20 to 50 feet in height and have fairly short, stubby branches which seem to alternate branching to the left and then to the right from the main trunk as one looks up the tree. The bark has "ridges" and is grey. I am relatively new to the area and have not seen the acorns or leaves. Perhaps my best bet is to wait until summer? Hope you can help!

ANSWER:

You probably will have to wait till spring to be absolutely sure what they are, but this sounds like a fairly good description of Post Oak (Quercus stellata). Here are more images from Vanderbilt University of the post oak.

Black-jack Oak (Q. marilandica), is also a possibility. You can see more images of the black-jack oak from Vanderbilt and from Duke University.

Unless you saw acorns and/or oak-type leaves on the trees, its also possible that you've misidentified the tree as an oak. It could be a Cedar Elm (Ulmus crassifolia), which also generally fits your description. Here are more images from Vanderbilt of the cedar elm.
 

More Trees Questions

Long Island Barrier Beach Plants
April 22, 2013 - I live on the south shore of Long Island on a barrier beach and am landscaping my property as a result of Sandy damage. I am going with a sand base, and I am looking for suitable trees and shrubs for...
view the full question and answer

Feeding live oak and redbud trees from Fredericksburg TX
October 23, 2012 - Can you please tell me what to feed my live oak and texas redbud trees that survived the drought? We have granite soil.
view the full question and answer

Average lifespan of Pinchot's Juniper from Golden CO
August 23, 2011 - What is the average lifespan of Juniperus coahuilensis (syn. Juniperus texensis) trees?
view the full question and answer

Danger of oak wilt infestation in trees with storm-damaged limbs
June 15, 2007 - A recent severe storm in Southwest Austin broke large branches and trunks on many Live Oaks in my neighborhood, including my next door neighbors'. Can this invite Oak Wilt? I'm worried about my tree...
view the full question and answer

Native Perennials for Bees and Butterflies in VA
April 15, 2015 - What native perennial plants and trees can we plant to help honey bees and butterfly larvae in Harrisonburg, VA?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.