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?


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

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

Differentiating between Iles decidua and Ilex vomitoria
February 15, 2007 - Is there any way to tell a male possum haw holly from a female? I have a possum haw that never lost all of it's leaves and has no berries. Could it be a male?
view the full question and answer

Oak tree with browning leaves in Brenham TX
August 16, 2011 - I have a large oak tree in my small back yard. I also have a sprinkler so the tree has been receiving some water. Nevertheless, some of the leaves are turning brown in patches. Would drip watering ...
view the full question and answer

Identificaation of different cultivars ofPrunus caroliniana
June 14, 2007 - How can you tell if you have a Carolina Cherry laurel or Carolina cherry laurel "compacta," or a Cherry Laurel-English? I have a line of four cherry laurels and one in the middle recently died an...
view the full question and answer

Aging Arizona Ash in Austin
May 04, 2014 - Mr. Smarty Plants! I live in South Austin and just bought a house with a large, 30-40 year old Arizona Ash in the backyard. When I moved in, most of the lower branches were bare and dead and so I had ...
view the full question and answer

Alder native to Central Indiana
May 30, 2006 - I am trying to find out whether there exists a plant named Alnus rugosa. I bought a plant recently that said Speckled Alder, Alnus serrulata (rugosa), but have been unable to determine if this is a c...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center