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 Diseases and Disorders Questions

Willow woes in Philadelphia, NY
August 22, 2010 - I have a 2 yr old willow; it is August and it looks like the tree has gone dormant, is this normal?
view the full question and answer

Repair of broken branch stump on pecan tree
July 18, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, big fan. Recently one of my pecan trees had a large branch break off, about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. The strange part was there was no clear sign of what caused the damage, i...
view the full question and answer

Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
August 19, 2013 - I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much...
view the full question and answer

Care of a live oak with decay and perhaps fungus on trunk
July 14, 2011 - I have a huge live oak on my property in Salado that just lost a very large branch. The branch had decay in the center and also has a variety of bugs in it, espeically since it has been on the ground...
view the full question and answer

Incorrectly planted anacua from San Antonio
November 22, 2013 - I purchased a 12' anacua tree from a local nursery about 18 months ago. It was not planted correctly (root bound, rolled into a hole about 3" larger than the pot) but is still alive with the number...
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