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

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 Ash drooping?
June 22, 2009 - Last spring, I bought a house in Austin, TX with a large Ash tree in the front yard. It looked fine last year, but has been looking funny since it leafed out this spring. It's as if the leaves are we...
view the full question and answer

Live oaks dropping brown leaves
August 02, 2014 - We have three live oaks and one of them has been dropping quite a few brown leaves over the past two weeks. I looked at pictures of trees with oak wilt and ours do not look like the pictures. I als...
view the full question and answer

Oak roots damaged by ax from Austin
July 03, 2013 - Hello. I am attempting to create my own tiny copy of the Wildflower Center within my yard. I'm using all native, drought tolerant plants. My front yard is full of live oaks. I used a sod cutter la...
view the full question and answer

Texas sage losing inner leaves
May 14, 2015 - I have a Texas Sage bush that on the outside is beautiful with green leaves. The inside branches (the middle) of the bush are bare of any leaves. Why?
view the full question and answer

Problems with Cedar Elm in Austin, TX.
August 04, 2012 - Our Cedar Elm has yellowing very dry leaves and something is eating the topmost leaves leaving holes and obviously chewed off leaf segments. Could this be two different things? Aphids and bacteria or ...
view the full question and answer

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