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
2 ratings

Friday - July 15, 2011

From: Palo Pinto, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Watering, Trees
Title: Watering Oak Trees in the Summer
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Should you water oak trees in the summer? Some people say its not good for them. But many trees seem to be withering up and dying in this heat. Especially the black jack oaks. There are also post oaks and live oaks in this area but they seem to be doing better.

ANSWER:

The short answer: Yes!   Oak Trees are, in general, extremely drought tolerant, but that doesn't mean they are not affected by drought.  Tree experts agree that during extreme drought conditions, a little bit of correctly done watering is extremely beneficial to your trees.

This previous Mr Smarty Plants question had a good direction towards a website from Central Texas Tree Care which describes the issue and also to the University of Illinois Extension which recommends a watering plan.  Here are a number of articles from the Colorado State Cooperative Extension, from Urban Forestry South [New Mexico], Walter Reeves.com, and Fine Gardening [California].

Its a pretty consistent story though - Yes, please water, even including your established trees. Give them a good soaking near and maybe a bit past the drip line.  Water roughly every two to three weeks, this ought to do just fine as long as the "good soaking" is sufficiently long.

 

More Trees Questions

Controlling oak suckers in Austin
June 24, 2012 - We have 2 live oak trees that are sprouting shoots all around the surrounding area. We would like to plant some grass and would like to remedy this first. We have mowed the shoots and still they jus...
view the full question and answer

Planting petunias around base of oak tree from Houma LA
March 30, 2013 - I live in south Louisiana and I want to plant petunias. Can I plant petunias around the base of an oak tree?
view the full question and answer

Care of butternut trees (Juglans cinerea) with bumpy growths
June 12, 2007 - I have two small butternuts, around 3-4 feet. One has developed very 'bumpy' reddish growths on the leaves that are actually stunting their growth. What do you think it is and what can i do to sto...
view the full question and answer

Can trees survive if trunks are buried under 3-5 ft of soil?
January 27, 2012 - We have two cedar elms and a mesquite that I protected from backfill as our Texas Hill Country lot was leveled in preparation for building a house. The bulkheads are now holding back 3' to 5' of ma...
view the full question and answer

When is it time to remove diseased oak trees in Belton, TX?
May 03, 2013 - When to give up on my live oaks. We lost/mostly several live oaks since 2011 and the drought. One, died from the crown, one large mass at a time, and now resembles a 10' totem pole with scraggly gro...
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