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
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - September 26, 2010

From: Mansfield, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Problem with oak trees in Mansfield, Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton


We have lost 2 large oaks last year & now another is nearly gone. It has several large patches of missing bark - beneath a thin layer of skin-like membrane that seemed to separate it from the bark is black. A nearby tree has several small areas that look the same. I am sending an email with a picture to accompany this. I hope you can help me with what is wrong with our trees.


From your description and from the photo of your oak tree that you sent it appears that it is probably hypoxylon canker, a fungal disease.  Here is more information from East Texas Gardening of the TAMU AgriLife Extension Service and from Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.  As you will read in these two articles, there isn't really anything you can do to save the trees that have been infected already.  Assuring that your other trees are in a healthy condition can prevent them from being infected.  Stress, such as drought and injury to the trunk, make trees susceptible to infection.  You might consider contacting the Tarrant County AgriLife Extension Office to see if they have more information about the disease in the county.  They also have an "Ask an Expert" feature that you might like to use to see if they have suggestions on maintaining your uninfected trees.  The Texas Forest Service also has an "Ask the Experts" feature.



More Trees Questions

Problems with non-native weeping willow from Hazlet NJ
July 03, 2013 - Leaves turning yellow on weeping willow planted in May. What causes this and how can I fix it? Mother's Day gift after SANDY uprooted huge tree.
view the full question and answer

Fruit trees non-toxic to dogs that will grow in Killeen TX
April 15, 2010 - I live in Central Texas and I'd like to know if there is any fruit tree that is non toxic to dogs that will grow well in my area. My dog eats everything in sight. Thanks!
view the full question and answer

Tropical looking plants for pool area in California
November 14, 2008 - I am looking for small tropical looking plants, groundcover, and 2-small trees for around my pool. They have to be non-toxic to dogs,cats, and people. They can't attract bees/wasps, or have a root ...
view the full question and answer

Trees for townhome backyard in Fullerton, CA
August 15, 2009 - Hi, I live in a townhome with a big backyard here in Orange County. Last year, I got rid of my ficus trees that had grown too tall and big for a townhome backyard. Now, I would like to plant two tre...
view the full question and answer

Are brown junipers (Juniperus ashei) dead?
November 08, 2011 - If the cedar/junipers in our area are brown, will they ever come back green? Or just clear them out as dead. There are many of them due to the drought. Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center