En Español

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

Tuesday - May 08, 2012

From: Nevada, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Planting, Transplants, Trees
Title: A year and a half old live oak tree is doing poorly in Nevada, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We planted a live oak tree about a year and a half ago. the tree is still rather small. The leaves are of a vibrant green, however the leave have only grown through the center of the tree and not out on the branches. Should we just be patient?

ANSWER:

There are two species of oak in Texas that are known as live oak; one is Quercus fusiformis (Escarpment live oak) and the other is Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak). Neither one prefers the black land prairie soils of Collin County.   (see qufu  and quvi).

Whenever we hear of a recently planted tree that is doing poorly, our thoughts turn to transplant shock. I’m going to refer you to three sites that discuss this problem and offer suggestions for remedies.

Purdue University

northscaping.com

gardeningknowhow.com

Are you sure that the branches are alive? The “thumb nail test” can tell you. Scrape a small section of bark off of the end of a branch with your thumb nail. If there is green tissue underneath, the branch is alive. No green tissue, that part of the branch is dead. Move down the branch, repeating the test as you go until you find green tissue. Remove the dead part of the branch.


 

From the Image Gallery


Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

More Planting Questions

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

How close can house be built to live oak from Austin
May 30, 2012 - We have a healthy 21" live oak tree on our lot and are planning to build a home in Circle C subdivision in southwest austin. The home foundation will be within 15' of the large live oak. Need your h...
view the full question and answer

Late-blooming flowers for Northeast PA
May 12, 2007 - We have a weekend house in Northeast PA...Poconos. Pretty rocky terrain....when can we plant wildflowers? Is it too late to plant in late May? If so, when is best? What variety do you recommend fo...
view the full question and answer

Ground cover for sun in Phenix City, AL
April 04, 2011 - I live in Phenix City, AL and am new to planting. I have a 60 x 15 feet slope that is just dirt. I am going to till it next week and want to plant some various ground cover plants (that will grow to c...
view the full question and answer

Progress of Habiturf lawn from Round Rock TX
April 12, 2012 - I sowed Habiturf seeds almost two weeks ago in well prepared soil--no grass or weeds, well tilled with compost. After sowing, I lightly raked the soil. I have watered twice/day, allowing it to dry s...
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 | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center