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

Wednesday - February 20, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Compost and Mulch, Trees
Title: Pros and cons of live oak leaves left on ground in Dripping Springs TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What are the pros or cons of leaving live oak leaves on the ground around trees or bushes?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants already has a similar q&a on live oaks leaves. As you can see, this is mostly cons. A few leaves raked into tree wells and maybe a session with a power mower chopping some of them and letting them sift down into the grass will be an advantage to the grass. The thing is, live oaks tend to drop all their leaves at once and that is too much waste material all at once. If they are piled up around tree and shrub bases, fungus may come in and damage the plant, especially if it is rainy or you are watering that bed. Insects will shelter in there, laying eggs and perhaps, like aphids, migrate up to chew holes on the tender young spring leaves.

In addition to all that, there will be acorns that fell in the Fall mixed in there, attracting squirrels, rodents and, again, insects.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Escarpment live oak
Quercus fusiformis

Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

More Compost and Mulch Questions

Problems with non-native Cleyera and Red-tip photinia
June 01, 2008 - I planted a row of Cleyera in a bed that receives sunlight for about 3 hours during the middle of the day. My problem is that a number of the plants are dying. It begins with the leaves on one small...
view the full question and answer

Clay hill with erosion problems in Reedsport OR
July 10, 2009 - We have a very steep 35-40' clay hill subject to erosion in the Oregon rainy season. How or what do we do to get some kind of vegetation/grass, etc to grow without washing away? We have had mudslides...
view the full question and answer

Problems with Texas wild olive tree in Tucson
November 15, 2010 - Planted a Texas Olive tree in Tucson, Az. Some of the leaves are kind of yellow. It gets part sun and part shade and is growing. Is this due to too much water, not enough water or does it need somet...
view the full question and answer

Thornless honeylocust trees for Taylor TX
September 21, 2009 - I live in Taylor, Williamson County, in central Texas and I am interested in selecting trees for my backyard. I can't really explain (it may be my Midwestern roots), but I would like to plant three t...
view the full question and answer

Appropriate mulch for strawberries in Maine
July 31, 2007 - Can mulch (like cedar mulch- kinds used in flower gardens) be used between rows of strawberries? Can you also suggest how far apart lupine species need to be so that they wont interbreed? Thank ...
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