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

Privacy Hedge Suggestions for Tampa, Florida
May 15, 2014 - My back wall is made of stone and is about 6' high. We are very close to a busy road. I need a plant that will reach about 7-8 feet high or a hedge to reduce some of the noise. What plant/hedge would...
view the full question and answer

Spacing of Trees near a House Foundation
June 18, 2015 - Can you recommend non-invasive shade tree that can be planted 6 to 7 feet from foundation. We are buying a new home in zone 8a and choices that are given are: Live Oak, Lacebark Elm, Cedar Elm, and B...
view the full question and answer

Is it safe to burn Cedar in a fireplace?
December 04, 2014 - Is it safe to burn Cedar in our fireplace? I'm trying to thin out the population of Ashe Junipers on my property in Spicewood Tx. to give the young Live Oaks a chance to compete for sunlight and w...
view the full question and answer

Controlling a shrub/tree with lots of thorns and flowers similar to beebrush, but lots of thorns
July 08, 2014 - I live in Horseshoe Bay, Llano County with 1.5 acres of natural habitat. There is a plant that I have always called Cat's Claw but in researching Cat's Claw, I may have misidentified it. It has a fl...
view the full question and answer

Hackberry stripped by Cedar Waxwings or American Goldfinches
March 27, 2007 - I live in Fort Worth. My one and only tree in the backyard is a 23 year old hackberry. While not infested with gall or weevils, we have been invaded this past few weeks by hordes of small, chubby, yel...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center