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

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

Brown leaves on possumhaw holly in Grandview TX
July 02, 2009 - What would be likely causes for brown leaves on possumhaw holly? We have 2, one was planted in spring 2008, and a slightly larger one planted late winter/early spring this year. Most of the leaves a...
view the full question and answer

Lilac bush roots dangerous to house foundations
August 06, 2008 - Are lilac bushes dangerous to the foundation of a house? There is a lovely white-blooming lilac that grows against the house outside my bedroom window. My ex-husband said that the roots would destro...
view the full question and answer

Cardboard or newsprint for mulch from Cedar Park TX
June 09, 2012 - What is your opinion on using cardboard and/or newspaper for mulch in flower beds or around trees?
view the full question and answer

Recreating a wildflower meadow, central Texas
July 02, 2013 - We have an acre on our property that has bluebonnets. Unfortunately, it also has other plants that we don't want -Johnson grass, nettles, burrs. We plan to do a controlled burn in the fall and re-...
view the full question and answer

Drought tolerant Plants and moving Wax myrtles in Austin
April 30, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, What are the most fire resistant and drought tolerant plants for caliche soil in Austin area? I am considering relocating or removing my wax myrtle shrubs because they are ...
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