Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

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!

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

Sunny and shady lawns from Austin
April 28, 2012 - My front yard has a large bed surrounded by a mix of St. Augustine and Bermuda grass. Last summers heat killed off about 90% of the St. Augustine, which we would like to replace anyway to conserve re...
view the full question and answer

Perennials non-toxic to horses in Thayer MO
September 21, 2010 - I live in South Central Missouri. I am looking for a plant/shrub to plant in pots (our soil is clay and very rocky)to landscape the front of our barn. This plant can't be harmful to horses and must b...
view the full question and answer

Reducing Allergens in Yards and Gardens
January 31, 2012 - What are some allergen-free native plants to Central Texas that thrive in the soil and can survive in the weather?
view the full question and answer

Failure to come up of blackeyed susans in Lancaster PA
June 28, 2009 - My blackeyed susans have been blooming for ten years. All of a sudden this year they didn't come up at all..why?
view the full question and answer

Buffalograss for Mason County, TX
August 19, 2009 - I am interested in planting buffalo grass at a ranch home in between Mason and Fredericksburg, TX. I've read buffalograss doesn't do well in sandy soils, which this area (Hilda, TX) seems to have a ...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.