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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Sunday - July 22, 2012

From: Pflugerville, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Distressed Red Oak tree in Pflugerville, TX.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have a large (40 ft) Red Oak tree in my yard that is distressed. It started with yellowing leaves, with darker veins. Then small brown spots appeared, followed by browning arount the leaves edges. Now entire sections are looking dead. It looks as if the tree is trying to produce new leaves, but they are browning and are severely stunted. I have done a root fertilization by a professional tree company, who didn't seem to know what it may be. I am worried about it, and now the maple on the other side of the drive has a few leaves at the bottom that have a similar look. I am afraid if it is a fungus/bacteria/pest it may spread. Any advice of what to do next?

ANSWER:

When Mr. Smarty Plants hears about oak trees in distress, he begins to think of Oak Wilt.
What you should do next is try to determine what is ailing your oak tree. This web site, texasoakwilt.org, has a wealth of information about oak  wilt including contact information for Texas AgriLife Extension and the Texas Forest Service who I recommend you should try to get in touch with. This answer  to a previous question also has some helpful information.

 

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