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 - March 26, 2013

From: Mesa, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Pests, Planting, Trees
Title: Problem with Live Oaks in Mesa AZ
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have two Evergreen Live Oaks in central Arizona. One is flourishing and getting new spring leaves from top to bottom. Its trunk is rough, has large grooves, and the spots where I've pruned look like they're being absorbed by the tree. My other tree has a very sparse amount of new leaves, most branches are bare at the tips and grey. The trunk is smooth with no grooves and the places that have been pruned look as though I trimmed them yesterday rather than months ago. Is it sick? Or dead?

ANSWER:

There are no Live Oaks native to Maricopa County with that particular common name, "Evergreen Live Oaks." There are, however, 5 evergreen or semi-evergeen oaks native there. As deep in the southwestern desert as Maricopa County is, just about any oak would be evergreen, so we will list those and then do some research to see if we can find out what is going on with your trees.

Quercus emoryi (Emory oak) - semi-evergreen

Quercus gambelii (Gambel oak) - semi-evergreen

Quercus grisea (Gray oak) - evergreen

Quercus hypoleucoides (Silverleaf oak) - evergreen

Quercus turbinella (Sonoran scrub oak) -evergreen

We are going to choose Quercus emoryi (Emory oak) as our example, as all these trees are native to the same area and would probably share the same problems. If one tree is doing well in the environment, getting the same water, etc. about all we can think of that would be causing the problems you are describing is transplant shock. Please read this previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer on transplant shock. Although the trees in this previous question had only been in the ground a few days, the answer does tell you how to determine if a tree is dead, what treatment you can give it, and the possibility that you should have the tree looked at by a trained, licensed arborist.

 

From the Image Gallery


Lacey oak
Quercus laceyi

Gambel oak
Quercus gambelii

Gray oak
Quercus grisea

Silverleaf oak
Quercus hypoleucoides

More Planting Questions

Replacement for maple tree lost in Hurricane Sandy from Hauppauge NY
March 17, 2013 - Lost a Maple street tree in Hurricane Sandy, was forty-eight years old. Town will not replace the tree. Must do it on my own. What would you suggest? Nothing that grows too tall.
view the full question and answer

Growing pecan and fruit trees near Canyon Lake, Texas
July 07, 2014 - I just bought a property on the north side of Canyon Lake in the Hill Country of Texas. Most of the trees around are cedar, and a few live oak. I know I have seen beautiful Pecan trees as well as seve...
view the full question and answer

Live oak leaves turning yellow after planting in Houston
December 19, 2011 - We bought a 65 gallon live oak in early October, and have been watering fairly heavily three days a week. It seemed OK, then all of a sudden lots of the leaves are turning yellow. Is it getting too ...
view the full question and answer

Want a ground cover instead of St. Augustine to fill in gaps in stone pathway.
November 19, 2012 - I'm considering using Silver Ponyfoot (instead of St. Augustine) to fill in the 6" gaps between my 24"x24" cut limestone blocks footpath and patio. Do they run long that may cover the blocks, whi...
view the full question and answer

Chile pequin from Spring Plant Sale in Austin
June 08, 2011 - Re: chile pequin purchased at your Spring 2011 sale: it grows, seems to thrive, but sets no flowers and so bears no fruit. It's in terracotta in Ladybug potting soil, on a shady apartment patio. How ...
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