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
1 rating

Tuesday - July 06, 2010

From: Conroe, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Need information about oak wilt and Shumard oak in Houston, Tx.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills


I want to plant a Shumard red oak in my North Houston front yard, with two Nuttall oaks. I keep hearing about something call oak wilt. Is there something I can do to prevent this disease during the planting process? Should I do prevention for all three trees? I am planning the planting job for October. Thanks


This "something called oak wilt" is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States, and is killing oak trees in central Texas in epidemic proportions. Oak wilt is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, which invades and disables the water-conducting system in susceptible trees. The Shumard oak Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak)  and the Nuttall oak Quercus texana (Texas red oak) are particularly susceptible to this disease. Mr. Smarty Plants suggests reading the material from the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership and the Texas Forest Service before you proceed with your plans to plant these trees.The Texas Forest  Service also has a Texas Tree Selector feature on their website that can be useful in selecting trees that are suited for Harris County. Another source of help is the Harris County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service.



More Trees Questions

Looking for a seedless variety of Desert Willow in San Antonio.
February 17, 2011 - Is there a seedless (podless)variety of the Desert Willow tree that also has the dark burgundy color? If so, do you know who sells it in the central Texas area?
view the full question and answer

Looking for fruit and nut trees to plant in San Augustine, TX
April 05, 2011 - I am setting up residence in San Augustine, Texas on approximately 9 acres of land. We wanted to plant a few of each type of fruit and nut trees that would prosper in the area (for wildlife and for o...
view the full question and answer

Trees that aren't poisonous or don't have poisonous berries for dogs
January 20, 2010 - What trees are not poisonous or have poison berries for dogs?
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

Butternut blossom time from Milwaukee WI
June 08, 2012 - When does the butternut tree blossom?
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