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

Monday - February 21, 2011

From: Jacksonville, FL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Problems with Live Oak tree in Jacksonville FL
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My live oak tree was planted 13 years ago as a mature young tree. Until last fall, it was full and healthy. Then leaves started turning brown and dropping. The company who cares for our lawn/shrubs looked at it and said it was OK. Now the neighbors' trees are green and full, while ours is dropping a driveway full of brown leaves. A few leaves look like they have been chewed on, but not too many. What can we do to revive this beautiful tree? Thanks!

ANSWER:

Since we are neither entomologists nor plant pathologists, we would like to refer you to this article from the Florida Department of Agriculturee, Forestry Division Common Causes of Oak Mortality. When we in Central Texas hear of the decline of a Live Oak, we immediately think that there might be the presence of Oak Wilt, which has been decimating Live Oaks here. However, this article says that, as of yet, no Oak Wilt has been detected in Florida. On the other hand, this article from the University of Florida Extension Service is titled: Oak Wilt-A Potential Future Threat to Oak in Florida.

We are not too sure your landscapers are the right ones to ask about your trees; in fact, tree problems are sometimes caused by incautious spraying of herbicides or pesticides by landscapers onto grass surrounding the trees. "Weed and feed" fertilizer, which kills broad-leaf weeds in the lawn can also damage the trees, which are themselves broad-leaf plants. We would suggest you either contact a certified professional arborist and ask for an opinion, or contact the University of Florida Extension Office for Duval County. If the trees in your neighborhood are all still looking good, then there is probably a localized reason for yours looking bad.

 

More Trees Questions

Trees for creek side in Illinois
July 04, 2008 - I have a creek that runs along my back yard, and was wondering if you could give me some suggestions on water loving trees to grow next to it. The creek gets sun all day and is located in zone 5. (so...
view the full question and answer

Skin allergies; is Juniper the culprit in Simi Valley, CA?
July 21, 2012 - My husband and I have had terrible skin allergy problems this spring (for me it's been 3 years) and think it may be the juniper bushes outside our bedroom and kitchen windows. Is there a fast growin...
view the full question and answer

Probably non-native crapemyrtle trees damaged by hurricane
January 15, 2009 - I have 5 crape myrtle trees. I live in Galveston, Tx and when Hurricane Ike came through in September the salt water I think killed them. They have not come back since then and are brown with no leave...
view the full question and answer

Eliminating black locust volunteers in Rockville MD
September 27, 2011 - I am a landscape designer whose client has a very large, mature black locust in her front yard. Not surprisingly, she also has multitudes of black locust volunteers popping up all over her yard. The...
view the full question and answer

Restoring disturbed land in Marshall, TX.
December 04, 2014 - I have a 30 acre tract of land in Marshall, Texas. The oil company has turned 2-3 acres surrounding the rig into gravel. I would like to return the gravel area to green space. Any suggestions on gras...
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