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

Identity of tree with pumpkin-like fruit in Florida
October 02, 2012 - Hello. I live in a small town called Molino FL. I was walking on the side of our road and found a tree with pumpkin type fruit on the limbs. I have been trying to figure this tree out for about 3 mont...
view the full question and answer

Re-landscaping in Stephenville, TX.
November 17, 2012 - I prefer native plants. We are re-landsacaping, so I need grass, ground cover, vines and flowers to plant in our back yard. We have many trees and the whole yard is shady. A small area might be con...
view the full question and answer

Tree (evergreen) to grow in area with high water table
March 27, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, We live in central Austin, Tarrytown specifically, just blocks from the aptly named Spring Lane. (sometimes we hit water in our back yard within 2 feet of the surface.) We los...
view the full question and answer

Tree that successfully treats psoriasis
January 31, 2009 - Dear Mr. Smarty plants,I have a rather unusual question. Do you know of a tree/plant that you can grow in a container, looks like a conifer/evergreen, is green, has wispy looking branches, but when t...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting non-native crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ
May 11, 2014 - When is the best time to transplant dwarf crape myrtle in Scottsdale AZ?
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center