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

Tuesday - June 14, 2011

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders
Title: Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to Oak Wilt from Dripping Springs TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live near Drippings Springs, TX. Will mowing live oak seedlings contribute to the spread of oak wilt?

ANSWER:

No, particularly if you stay after them, but don't accidentally bang against the bark of the parent tree with a lawnmower or weedeater. A wound of that sort will result in the seepage of sap from the tree, which will attract the nitiludid beetle which transmits the oak wilt fungus on his body when he has been feeding at an infected tree.

It is recommended that any pruning wound that is bigger around than your thumb be painted with pruning paint. If they are really seedlings, growing from dropped acorns, you can probably pull them out, but what you are probably seeing is sprouts from the parent root. Left unattended, some of these sprouts will develop into satellite trees, thus forming the motte of live oaks that is so often seen in natural settings. Unfortunately, oak wilt can also be spread through roots that intertwine and ultimately grow together. These connections arise from grafting or from common root systems formed during vegetative propagation by root sprouts. 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Why is my recently planted Esperanza doing poorly in Texas City, TX?
May 28, 2010 - I have an Esperanza I planted about 2 months ago. It has been doing well, except today all but one stem of the plant is wilting and the leaves are rolling. I see no bugs on the plant. Any idea what...
view the full question and answer

How to treat bark damage on oak tree
November 15, 2011 - I have an oak tree approx. 50 ft., live in austin, texas. the tree has dropped bark about 3-4 ft above ground, in a section of 4 inches by 8 inches, and the tree appears dark where the bark was. is ...
view the full question and answer

What to do about leaf spot on Vaccinium myrsinites in Clearwater FL?
June 24, 2010 - I have recently planted many Vaccinium myrsinites (shiny blueberry) in my yard. These plants seem to have many dead twig branches without leaves. The remaining leaves have red spots. I visited a na...
view the full question and answer

More trees to go with live oaks in Schertz TX
July 13, 2010 - We moved to a new house that has two recently planted live oak trees. Other than those two little trees there is nothing else on the property. Because of what I read about the oak wilt I would like ...
view the full question and answer

Red and black bugs on hibiscus
June 19, 2009 - I can't get your Keyword search to work.. I have tiny red and black bugs on my hibiscus. I have tried 2 different garden sprays and neither seems to kill the tiny bugs. They barely move on the pla...
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