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

Wednesday - December 29, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? Into 30's at night some days but also into 70's during the day. So is the nitidulid bug active right now here?

ANSWER:

The Texas Forest Service has two articles, Guidelines for Proper Pruning to Prevent Oak Wilt Infection by Kim Camilli and Only You Can Prevent Oak Wilt by Robert Edmonson, that advise not pruning from February through June when the Nitidulid beetles are most active.  So, now, while the weather is reasonably cold, is the perfect time to prune.  Both articles recommend painting the wounds caused by the trimming as soon as the cuts are made no matter what time of year the pruning is done.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Sooty mold on Sophora secundiflora in San Marcos, TX.
September 23, 2010 - Dear Mr. SP, We have a Sophora secundiflora that is suffering with very black mold or fungus on most of its leaves. Last year, I washed it leaf-by-leaf with soapy water but it's getting too big t...
view the full question and answer

Problems with wax myrtle in Roanoke, VA
August 20, 2009 - Our Wax Myrtle bushes tend to lose all their foliage during the Winter months and each year seem to flesh out their leaves less with each passing Spring. One bush never returned and save for one branc...
view the full question and answer

What is causing leaf drop on oak in Morgan Hill CA?
June 23, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants: We have a large, young Valley Oak (about 20 yrs) which is dropping leaves even now in early summer. I have a feeling that the problem might be an invasive weed that is flourishi...
view the full question and answer

Oak Bark Loss in Arlington, TX
May 04, 2013 - I have multiple oak trees in my yard (in north texas) that have begun to lose their bark in small chunks. I'm in the middle of the city so their are no deer and yes it's been a dry 2 years but this...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Cedar Elm in Austin, TX.
August 04, 2012 - Our Cedar Elm has yellowing very dry leaves and something is eating the topmost leaves leaving holes and obviously chewed off leaf segments. Could this be two different things? Aphids and bacteria or ...
view the full question and answer

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