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?

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
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

Tuesday - January 08, 2013

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: What to do about volunteer trees growing beneath a large live oak tree in Austin, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We have a large live oak tree. Several volunteer trees are growing directly underneath it and into its branches. I want to cut them down if they are going to hurt the long term health of the live oak. Can you please advise?

ANSWER:

You didn’t mention what kind of volunteer tress you have,  but I think they will detract from the overall appearance of an old live oak tree Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak), and should probably come down.

 At this time, they are competing with the oak tree for water and nutrients. As they grow larger and penetrate the canopy, they will also be competing for sunlight. Neither of these situations benefits the oak tree.

Another thing that happens under oak trees, and you may be experiencing this, is the production of numerous root sprouts. Check out this link to learn more about these pesky little plants.

One more thing with live oaks that you should be aware of in Texas is oak wilt.
These two links will help you know what to look for.

texasoakwilt.org 

oakwilt.com

 

From the Image Gallery


Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

More Trees Questions

Small tree for Houston
October 27, 2010 - I want to plant a tree southwest of my one-story house. The area is 25 feet wide, from the house to the power line. Desirable qualities include being a Texas native, deciduous, drought tolerant, and h...
view the full question and answer

Mystery tree with yellow fruit in MN
November 12, 2012 - There is a tree at my workplace, about 8' tall, with small, pea-sized yellow berries right now (Oct. 2012). The berries are attractive to Cedar Waxwings, and the tree has small leaves that are simple...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants on Texas Madrone
July 24, 2005 - Hello, where can one acquire the Texas Madrone for planting? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

How to prune my Linden tree?
June 17, 2009 - We have a 15 yr old Linden in the backyard. North side of home. It can use some pruning at the lower branches. Which branches do we prune and when? Also we have some river birches back there. Oth...
view the full question and answer

Native evergreen for privacy shield in Weymouth, MA
April 28, 2009 - I am trying to find a good native evergreen tree that I can plant in a hedgerow to block noise and light coming from our neighbors property. We would need something that would grow tall because our h...
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 | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center