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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Saturday - October 29, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Time to trim oak trees in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have several large oak trees in desperate need of a good trimming. Given that the trees have had a very stressful drought year, when would be the best time to trim them?

ANSWER:

Two words-NOT NOW! Not even now that it has finally cooled off, not now. Here is a previous answer that deals with some of the questions about pruning and prevention of disease; saves us all that typing. You didn't say what kind of oaks you have, and some Texas oaks are more resistant to oak wilt, but it doesn't hurt to be super cautious about these very valuable trees. The stress that all of our area has been under is only adding to the vulnerability of the oaks. We suggest you contact a licensed, trained arborist and schedule a pruning session for sometime between November 15 and January 15, and insist that he paints any wound larger around than your thumb with pruning paint. 

 

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