Explore Plants

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
    
 

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

Seed regrowth through mulch
September 06, 2007 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants: I have planted a perennial and wildflower garden and would like to put mulch down to control the weeds and retain moisture. Will the plants that drop their seeds be able to re- ...
view the full question and answer

Soil improvement near Kerrville, TX
December 11, 2010 - We live in the Kerrville area; the soil is extremely shallow and deficient. The yard consists of mainly native plants, with a concentration of plants for butterflies and birds. What kind of soil and ...
view the full question and answer

Need evergreen hedge and groundcover for shade in Carmel, Indiana
September 27, 2010 - Our property is bounded by a fencerow that is wooded and mostly shaded by mulberry and hackberry trees during the growing months. We'd like to create a 5'+ tall evergreen barrier on the property li...
view the full question and answer

Shriveling and dying of non-native impatiens
July 14, 2008 - Several years now many of my impatiens after a month or so seem to shrivel up and eventually die. They are planted in a row and not all are affected. I am not noticing any slug evidence which I would...
view the full question and answer

Spreading compost from Kyle TX
January 22, 2012 - I'm trying to find if there is some type of "implement" to help spread compost in my yard that is easier than a shovel and rake. Any ideas?
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.