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
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - July 24, 2010

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Damaged Shumard oak tree in Polk County Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a native Shumard Red Oak on our property in Polk County Texas that suffered damage (top blown out) during Hurricane Ike. Last year, one side of the tree browned early while the other side stayed green. This spring the tree budded equally and developed a pretty even canopy. Now (early July) the same side of the tree is starting to brown as last year. The tree does receive water from our sprinkler system but it is on a slope that drains. Any suggestions

ANSWER:

Of course, oakwilt is a serious concern in Texas and Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak) is especially susceptible to oak wilt. However, the fact that the the brown leaves that fell last year came back green for a time in the spring, probably means your tree doesn't have oak wilt.  Oak wilt in red oaks usually kills the tree rather quickly—within 3 or 4 weeks.  There are other diseases that affect oaks and other deciduous trees in general and specific ones that affect Shumard oaks, but according to University of Florida IFAS Extension Service other pests or diseases aren't generally serious.  Unfortunately, we aren't experts on oak diseases and can't diagnose your tree's problem from afar. If you want to save your trees, you should consider hiring a certified professional arborist who can look at your tree and determine what is causing your problem and how to solve it.

The Texas Forest Service has a page, Storm Recovery for Trees Public Service Announcements (PSA), with helpful messages about tree damage after hurricanes and other storms.



 

More Trees Questions

Pruning cherry laurel in January in Austin
January 07, 2011 - Do trust I checked Q&A first. Can Cherry Laurel shrubs be pruned earlier than late winter in Austin? I foolishly planted 12 native Cherry Laurel standards on our suburban property line 5 years ago. I ...
view the full question and answer

Need to find an alternative to Bradford Pear in the Woodlands, TX
September 18, 2011 - Hello! I am trying to find an alternative tree to a Bradford Pear. I love the seasonal change in these and ordered one, but after the many negative reviews I've read (smell, weakness in branches, mes...
view the full question and answer

Recovering neglected garden space from Grapevine TX
March 22, 2014 - I live in Grapevine TX (Dallas). I just moved into a house where almost the entire large backyard is covered by oak trees that shed tons of leaves throughout our mild falls/winters. The yard has not...
view the full question and answer

When is Texas mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) mature
October 08, 2007 - Can you tell me the life cycle for the native Texas mesquite? I have found one source that says it matures in 2-5 years, but no other sources confirm this. We are hoping to classify mesquite flooring ...
view the full question and answer

Removing leaves before transplanting from Miami
August 27, 2009 - What is good idea to remove some leaves before transplanting a plant??
view the full question and answer

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