En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - June 11, 2011

From: Lott, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Live oak trees and possible drought stress in Lott, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

One of our Live Oak trees is losing leaves in only a portion of it. I have researched Oak Wilt and I am not sure that is what it has. We have trees that are hundreds of years old and was wondering if the dry conditions could be contributing to this. I have not watered them very much because of where they are. We live in the country and they are in the back of our land.

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty is going to suggest that you contact the folks at the Falls County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension to get a “boots on the ground” assessment of the situation. Oak wilt is always a consideration with Live Oaks, but one of the indicators are fairly distinctive, eg venal necrosis. This link to the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership (you may have already seen it) has lots of information about this disease.

The current drought certainly is putting stress on mature oaks, and could be part of the problem you are experiencing. This answer to a previous question has some useful information about water stress.

SInce the damage sounds like it is localized, a possible cause that I have learned about only recently is squirrels. For some unknown reason, squirrels will strip the bark from limbs and trunks of various kinds of trees, including oaks. The resulting damage can cause the limbs to die and loose their leaves. This link describes the situation.

It is important to get an on site evaluation of your problem to find appropriate solution.

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Deep Rooted Large Shrub or Small Tree for Driveway Strip
August 21, 2014 - I am in eastern Massachusetts. My condominium Grounds Committee is searching for a small tree suitable to plant in narrow (4'-5') beds which divide two driveways. Can you suggest something whose roo...
view the full question and answer

Privacy screening from Prosperity SC
May 19, 2013 - I need to know what would be a good tree to plant for blocking my neighbor's home it needs to be an evergreen and slender in the space it would take.
view the full question and answer

Is Esperanza a deciduous or an evergreen plant?
March 08, 2009 - I've read that Esperanza/Tecoma Stans is an evergreen. I planted one last year that seemed very healthy, but it dropped its leaves in late fall and looks (at least) dormant now. Will it come back o...
view the full question and answer

Large oak with possible Laetiporus fungus
November 29, 2011 - We have a huge oak tree in front of our new house. After the first rain this fall a large fungal growth appeared in an old knothole of the tree and I would guess that it is Laetiporus. A neighborho...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy screen
August 08, 2012 - Hello, We'd like to plant a privacy screen to hide our view of an adjacent apartment complex. Ideally the trees or other plantings might be a native species, and preferably they would eventually rea...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center