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

Monday - August 22, 2011

From: Hutchinson, KS
Region: Midwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Dead portions on oak tree in Hutchinson KS
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have an oak tree on the property I just moved into. One tree is healthy, the other has a dead side or almost dead. It did have some new green leaves on the dead branches but not many. What should I do about pruning this dead limbs out or should I give it another year with fertilizer?

ANSWER:

No. 1, it is a wasted effort to put fertilizer on a dying plant.

No. 2, it won't do any good, but might actually harm the plant by trying to force a plant that is just trying to survive to put on more leaves.

No. 3, Don't prune an oak, any oak, right now. We don't know if you have oak wilt in Kansas, but we bet you do. Read this article from Kansas State University Research and Extension on Oak Wilt.

We do suggest you have a professional arborist look at the tree. Obviously, something has killed or is killing the tree.

 

More Pruning Questions

Best time of year to trim oak trees from Beloit WI
July 23, 2010 - What is the best time of year to trim oak trees?
view the full question and answer

Trimming spineless yucca in Chicago
April 05, 2011 - I have a spineless yucca (indoors) which is 11 feet tall and thirty-five years old. When the yucca recently started to scrape the ceiling, I moved it away (roughly 20 feet) from the windows to an area...
view the full question and answer

Leggy purple coneflower
August 20, 2007 - Last year I planted purple coneflowers and this year when they bloomed they were extremely tall & leggy. I'd like next year to get them to be shorter and fuller. How do I do that & is it something ...
view the full question and answer

Making Ruellia nudiflora thicker in pot from Tucson AZ
June 25, 2012 - Can Ruellia Nudiflora be propagated in the same pot as the parent plant? Can it be cut back to stimulate a denser plant? I have plants in several pots and would like to 'thicken' the plant. Tha...
view the full question and answer

Need information about pruning Persimmon trees in Buda, TX.
November 29, 2010 - Mr. Smarty, We have many wild persimmon trees in our yard. Some I want prune to bush size. What is the best way to prune these trees and to what extent can they be safely pruned. Thank you for shari...
view the full question and answer

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