En EspaÑol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Care of Live Oaks

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
1 rating

Wednesday - July 11, 2012

From: Katy, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Planting, Watering, Trees
Title: Care of Live Oaks
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have Two Young Live Oaks in the front of Our home. We had them treated for insects, ect. Now what can we do to make them Full Green and Happy Happy Happy again.Thank You

ANSWER:

We hope these Live Oaks were planted in cool weather. We ordinarily recommend that woody plants be planted between November and February in Texas. In fact, any planting or pruning of Live Oaks should be done in the coldest part of the year, when the Nitidulid beetle is inactive. This little beastie visits trees already infected with Oak Wilt for a sap snack, and then moves on to other oaks that have some damage on them that is producing sap. This is usually the result of a wound of some kind to the tree, caused by bumping with a lawnmower or a weedeater or damage during construction. We would suggest you go to this Texas Oak Wilt website for more complete information.

We also hope that the hole was properly prepared, a hole larger than the circumference of the root ball, with compost or other organic matter mixed into the native soil to enable good drainage and permit the little new rootlets to get out into the soil for nutrients and moisture.

You really don't need to fertilize native plants, or only infrequently. A plant native to an area is already accustomed to the soil, rainfall and climate of that area.

We are not sure if your oaks are in poor condition, since you said you wanted to make them happy "again." If the leaves are browning and perhaps even falling off, it might indicate the tree has transplant shock, often the result of planting at the wrong time of year. For this, you need patience as you can hardly go back and unplant the tree. To water, especially in the very hot weather we are experiencing right now, push your hose deep into the (hopefully) soft soil around the roots and let it slowly drip until water comes to the surface. Unless you are getting frequent rains, do this twice a week. We don't recommend watering trees by the use of sprinkler systems.

The best way to treat problems with plants, especially live oaks, is to prevent the conditions that produce the problems. Damage to tree bark, planting a tree that is rootbound, or at the wrong time of year can all cause problems even years down the road.

 

 

More Watering Questions

Problems with water oaks from Laurel MS
October 05, 2013 - The leaves on my mature water oak trees have been falling since the leaves matured. My area has had an abundance of rain this year, 11 inches above normal. All the trees in my area are doing the same....
view the full question and answer

Possibility of hydrophobic soil in Austin, TX.
July 13, 2011 - I believe I have an area in my garden with “hydrophobic soil”: no matter how much or how slowly I water, it just beads up and rolls off and the soil beneath remains cement dry and powdery. In my readi...
view the full question and answer

Repotting of lemon cypress for drainage
October 26, 2008 - Hi, I bought a lemon cypress tree in a nice tin, It is in Plastic and the bottom has about 1.5" of water with no drainage in the plastic or tin. It will be kept inside. Does the plant need to be in...
view the full question and answer

Erosion at edge of driveway in Abilene TX
August 26, 2011 - My lawn suffered a great loss of grass over the winter and the soil at the edge of the driveway is washing away with watering and the occasional rains that we have. I am trying to get the grass to gr...
view the full question and answer

Texas Pistachio trees dropping leaves in Austin
June 09, 2010 - I have several Texas Pistachio that are about 13 years old. Despite good rainfall in Travis county this year, they seem to be losing most of their new leaf growth now in early June. Leaves are simpl...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center