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 Pruning Questions

What to do with bloom stalk on yucca
June 08, 2008 - Six years ago, I dug up two small narrow-leaf yuccas from a deer lease outside of Junction, Texas. I planted them in a raised bed in my yard and the smaller of the two survived and grew. To my surpris...
view the full question and answer

Need advice for pruning a young Bur Oak tree in Austin, TX.
November 02, 2010 - I grew a beautiful bur oak from seed, and three years later it is now taller than I am. I hate to cut anything off this tree and hurt it, but there are two branches that are rubbing together and growi...
view the full question and answer

Yaupon sprouts from Bennettsville SC
May 29, 2013 - I have Yaupons in a flower bed and they have too many shoots to pull up, can I spray them with roundup and not kill the bush and what strength should I use?
view the full question and answer

Improving blooming on mock orange
March 03, 2008 - I have a now 6 yr. old mock orange shrub in the garden which has never bloomed, darn it. I have fed, not fed, mulched, not mulched, sheared, not sheared. What gives? Will it ever bloom, or shall I ...
view the full question and answer

Repair of broken branch stump on pecan tree
July 18, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, big fan. Recently one of my pecan trees had a large branch break off, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. The strange part was there was no clear sign of what caused the damage, i...
view the full question and answer

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