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
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

Transplanting a redbud in Virginia Beach VA
April 21, 2010 - I have a 5-6 ft. Redbud Tree and like to dig up and move to different spot in my backyard. How/what is the proper way to do it without killing the tree?
view the full question and answer

Dwarf golden cypress outgrowing their space
December 28, 2008 - I planted two dwarf golden cypress on opposite sides of a dwarf alberta spruce in a small bed by the front door. After 4 years I have to severely prune back the dwarf cypress in spring as they will sp...
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plants safe for horses in Louisville, Kentucky
May 16, 2010 - I have a horse farm in Louisville, Ky. I want to plant evergreen plants along the walls in front of the horse barns. What types of plants are not toxic to horses can I use? Thank you so much for all y...
view the full question and answer

Small trees for property edge in Katy TX
April 16, 2012 - By deed restriction, I must have five trees on the side of my small suburban lot just west of Houston, TX. Due to the lot layout, the trunks are only about 8-10 feet from the house, with the trees abo...
view the full question and answer

Native magnolias in MD
March 16, 2011 - We live in Chevy Chase MD. Three tulip magnolias planted three years ago as part of a hedge died during the blizzard conditions we experienced the winter following their planting. This year as well w...
view the full question and answer

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