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
3 ratings

Tuesday - July 03, 2012

From: Boerne, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Time for trimming oaks from Boerne TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I want to trim a native red oak but am scared to touch it because I dont want to lose it. It is the primary source of shade in our back yard. Also I want to trim the live oaks and am surrounded with Oak Wilt and Oak Decline. Please tell me when the best time of year is best to do that.

ANSWER:

Thank you for asking. The main answer to your question is NOT NOW! Please look at this article from Texas Oak Wilt; in fact, it would be good if you took the time to read all of it, iincluding some videos on treatment and control.

The best thing to do is contact the Forest Service office in your region. Kendall County is in the Kerrville Region:

Kerrville Region – Includes Atascosa, Bandera, Bexar, Edwards, Guadalupe, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Medina, Real, Uvalde and Wilson counties.

Mark Duff
Texas Forest Service Project Forester
15110 Jones Maltsberger, Suite 101
San Antonio, TX 78247
210-494-1742
mduff@tfs.tamu.edu

Our main advice for right now is to avoid in every way breaking the bark anywhere on any of the trees. This can be caused by being bumped by lawn equipment or digging, even a weedeater can be the culprit. These wounds will cause sap to drip, which is lunch for the Nitidulid Beetle. He does not infect the tree, but if he has already snacked at an infected tree, it's very likely that he has the fungus that causes Oak Wilt on his body, and drops it off. Treatment of Oak Wilt is very difficult and expensive. The best course in the treatment of Oak Wilt is prevention-don't let it happen.

 

More Pruning Questions

Pruning of Grape Kool Aid Plant in California
August 03, 2008 - I have a Grape Kool Aid plant and was told it would grow to 6 or 7 feet tall, but it is well over that and I need to know if I can prune it and if so how?
view the full question and answer

Questions about care and pruning of Mexican Plum and Mountain Laurel in Austin, TX.
January 24, 2012 - I have a couple of questions regarding tree care and pruning. I have a Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana), about 10 years old or so. I would like to prune it. Is it ok to prune now in late wi...
view the full question and answer

Need pruning advice in northern Michigan
October 27, 2010 - Is it OK to prune my evergreen bushes and holly in October in northern Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Tree with no invasive roots for Los Angeles
July 24, 2011 - I have a large in ground planter sharing the outside wall (on south/east corner) of my house in east LA 90032. I would like to find a tree that grows quite tall (2 story building), but grows roots ver...
view the full question and answer

Pruning a Martha Gonzales rose
January 20, 2016 - How much should I prune back an established Martha Gonzales Rose to keep healthy?
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center