Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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 Trees Questions

Fast growing, flowering shade tree for Austin
April 28, 2012 - Sister just moved to Austin Texas. She is looking for fast growing shade trees, preferably one with nice flowers. Any suggestions?
view the full question and answer

Wrapping a newly planted non-native Japanese maple from Fraser MI
October 01, 2013 - Does a newly planted Japanese maple need to be wrapped in burlap for the cold and snowy winter of Macomb County, Michigan?
view the full question and answer

Fast-growing tree for Wilmington NC
May 22, 2010 - What kind of fast-growing tree would you plant in Wilmington, NC?
view the full question and answer

Landscape Fabric for Oak Suckers in Austin
February 11, 2015 - Can landscape fabric (covered w/decorative bark mulch) be safely used to control Escarpment oak sprouts? 70-year-old knees are tired of getting down to remove. Oaks are in Circle C area of Austin
view the full question and answer

Windbreak for Eastern Kansas
July 17, 2011 - I need to plant a fast growing windbreak near my lateral lines for a septic tank. We obviously can't have anything that would interfere with the laterals but I desperately need a North wind break. ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.