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?


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

Saturday - June 02, 2012

From: Towson, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Leafing out problems with oaks in Towson MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford


3 native 5-year-old oaks kept old leaves until March and are not leafing by the end of May. The few leaves that have emerged are shriveled. WHAT'S WRONG?


We seem to be getting lots of questions about leaves of oak and other trees not behaving as expected. Most often, we blame it on the previous years' inadequate rain as well as intense heat, at least for the trees in Texas. We are going to look for websites that address this matter as well as some previous Mr. Smarty Plant questions that might give you clues:

Denton, TX

Austin, TX

Ask Extension.org

Maryland Cooperative Extension

We are not having much luck finding information on the specific symptoms you are describing, so we feel it must have something to do with the climatic conditions, but could also be a disease with which we are not familiar. Since we are not plant pathologists, we suggest you contact the Maryland Cooperative Extension Office for Baltimore County. If this sort of problem is appearing in other area trees, they will know about it and have some suggestions. You also might consider having a licensed arborist look at it.




More Trees Questions

Obtaining bark of Larix laricina from Hyderabad India
January 26, 2012 - I am in need of Larix laricina (Bark) for my research work. Please let me know how to procure it.
view the full question and answer

Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage from Gray GA
April 15, 2014 - Why do conifers kill Texas hummingbird sage?
view the full question and answer

Replanting a Desert Willow
February 07, 2016 - My desert willow was damaged badly in a winter storm and had to be taken down. Do I need to remove the old root system below grade when I plant a new desert willow?
view the full question and answer

Tree with brown spots on leaves containing caterpillars
July 14, 2011 - We have a new little tree we planted in our yard and I went over to admire it and on each leaf there is a brown spot in which little worms are living. They are alive and moving around in the pocket th...
view the full question and answer

Native plants for Texarkana, TX
March 31, 2011 - I've been searching for a dependable list of attractive north east native plants, for gardens, landscaping, etc. Specifically, native flowers and shrubs.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center