En Español

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 - November 20, 2010

From: Georgetown, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Black spots and fuzzy circles on live oak leaves
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

We live in Georgetown Texas and have many Live Oaks on our property. Lately some leaves have fallen off which have fuzzy round circles on the back along with some little raised black dots. Should we be alarmed?

ANSWER:

The fuzzy yellow growths on the underside of the leaves are most likely galls caused by a tiny wasp.  Acraspis erinacei, Andricus quercusflocci, Andricus quercuslanigera, Andricus laniger, Andricus fullawayi and Andricus ignotus are all gall wasps that produce fuzzy galls on oaks.  The galls aren't likely to affect the health of your trees at all so there is really no need to do anything about them.

The black spots are probably caused by a fungus.  There are several that affect Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak) and Quercus fusiformis (Escarpment live oak); but, like those with the insect galls, unless they are heavily infested there is no need to treat them.  Here is some information from Florida Department of Agriculture about tar spot caused by the fungus, Trabutia quercina.  You can read about common diseases of oaks from the Neighborhood Association of Southwestern Williamson County and here is Dr. Jerry Parsons', the Bexar County Extension Agent, take on problems with live oaks in Texas.  If your infestation is severe enough that you think treatment is necessary, contact your Williamson County AgriLife Extension office to ask for their advice on treatment.

 

More Trees Questions

Recommend a plant similar to Corkscrew Willow for Austin, TX.
June 16, 2015 - Do corkscrew willows do well in Austin, TX? If not, can you recommend a willow like tree to plant along the banks of a creek?
view the full question and answer

Use of fresh clippings from tree trimmers for mulch in Austin
May 02, 2010 - Hi, The tree trimmers are in my neighborhood (east central Austin) to clear the power lines and said I can have a load of free mulch. I am wondering if there is any harm in using the fresh mulch from...
view the full question and answer

Moving a red oak away from the house foundation
January 24, 2008 - About a 3 weeks ago I noticed a 5 ft. red oak growing in my flower bed. I hadn't noticed it growing up through my shrubs until the leaves turned bright red. The problem is that its coming up about tw...
view the full question and answer

Planting Anacacho orchid tree in Llano, TX
October 05, 2011 - Re Bauhinia lunarioides: I'm trying to pick a good site in Llano Co for a 5 gal tree I received as a gift. Your plant database says part shade. The arid zone trees publication you reference in a...
view the full question and answer

pruning Chinkapin oak, Loquat and Monterrey oak trees
December 07, 2012 - What is the best time to plant a 45-65 gal. Chinkapin oak tree in Pflugerville. Also, when can i prune fig trees, Loquat trees and a Monterrey oak. Thanks for the information.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center