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

Monday - October 03, 2011

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Live oak bark splitting in Katy TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have a 7 yr old live oak that looks like its bark is splitting open in branches and top leaves look wilted. If that sounds like oak wilt, do we need to have the tree removed? We live in a subdivision. Thank you very much,

ANSWER:

From the USDA Forestry Service, here is an article on Identify, Prevent and Control Oak Wilt. Although it is pretty lengthy you should read it all, as it covers a lot of the questions about the spread of oak wilt. The source we usually turn to, of course, is the Texas Oak Wilt Information Partnership, in which the Wildflower Center is a partner. Again, lengthy, but worthwhile reading. The main thing you need to do is look for an expert who can actually see and, hopefully, diagnose the problem. On this website, going from the home page to Getting Help, and then to Forest Service Contacts, you will find a list of the Forest Service offices and contacts. In your case, contacting the Houston area is recommended:

Houston
Mickey Merritt
Texas Forest Service Urban Forester
2020 North Loop West, Suite 106
Houston, TX 77018
713-688-8931
mmerritt@tfs.tamu.edu

There are other things that can be wrong with your oak, but the Forest Service people will know that better than we do. Since you live in a subdivision, we are assuming there are other live oaks in your neighborhood. It is essential to make a diagnosis, especially if it IS Oak Wilt, just as quickly as possible, to prevent spread to other trees.

 

More Trees Questions

Differentiating between red oak, Shumard oak and American sycamore
February 05, 2006 - I have a few trees growing in an arroyo and I'm pretty certain that they are either red oak, shumard red oak, or Texas sycamore. The trees are deciduous and have a scaled grey bark which becomes lig...
view the full question and answer

Effects of concrete patio poured around tulip poplar tree
July 01, 2008 - We have a beautiful tulip poplar tree in our back yard that we wanted to be the focal point of our patio. We had seen pictures of patios with trees incorporated in patios leaving two to three feet of...
view the full question and answer

Transplant shock in my Nuttall Oak tree in Moore, OK.
July 23, 2009 - I had a Nutall oak tree planted; it is 5 inches in diameter and about 24 feet tall. It was planted in March of this year, leafed out ok; now since June 20th I have had a large quantity of the leaves t...
view the full question and answer

When does Ziziphus obtusifolia leaf and flower in Austin?
March 22, 2010 - Hello Mr. S.P., Do you know when the Texas buckthorn, Ziziphus obtusifolia (I believe), flowers (and leafs out) in Austin? Is there one at the Wildflower Center?
view the full question and answer

Leaf drop from maple tree in Minnesota
August 15, 2008 - I have about a 30 ft maple tree in my yard, last fall I trimmed it pretty good because the branches were getting low where you could not walk under it or get grass to grow. This is the 2nd time in abo...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center