En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Leaves on new water oak turning brown from Matagorda TX

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

Thursday - May 30, 2013

From: Matagorda, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Planting, Trees
Title: Leaves on new water oak turning brown from Matagorda TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We had water oaks planted in January when they had no leaves. Leaves came on but are now turning brown.

ANSWER:

As you can see from this USDA Plant Profile Map, Quercus laurifolia (Laurel oak) (also known as "water oak") is not recorded as growing natively in Matagorda County but does in nearby Victoria and Harris Counties. So, since it should be able to grow where you are, it is puzzling that it is losing its leaves. You planted it in the cooler part of the year, which we always recommend for woody plants, especially in Texas. Here are the growing conditions for this plant from our webpage on it in our Native Plant Database.

"Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: This species is closely related to Q. nigra and Q. phellos. It has no pest problems and is tolerant of a variety of soil conditions."

When we followed this plant link, Quercus laurifolia (Laurel oak), to our webpage on this plant, we found this statement:

"GROWTH FORM: semi-evergreen with leaves retained until the following spring."

You said the tree had no leaves on it when it was planted. According to the webpage and the timing of the planting, your tree should have still had some leaves on it when it was planted. Then, it put on leaves, which are now browning and possibly dying. The only reason we can think of for this strange behavior is transplant shock. Here is an article from Northscaping.com on Ten Tips to Avoid Transplant Shock.

We inferred from your statement that you had them planted that landscapers took care of installing your trees. We suggest you discuss this development with them and ask them to examine  the trees to see if they can suggest what went wrong.

Pictures from Google.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Planting Questions

Prospects for newly-seeded Habiturf lawn from Round Rock TX
March 17, 2012 - Re: Habiturf installation Can you provide feedback about how my newly seeded Habiturf lawn should look at various stages? I think I prepped the lawn properly, but I may have planted too early (...
view the full question and answer

Growing a Texas Mountain Laurel in Pennsylvania
May 20, 2012 - Can I grow a Texas Mt. Laurel in Lancaster, PA?
view the full question and answer

Replacing mature Arizona Ash trees in Austin
August 26, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants, I have 2 very large, very old Arizona Ash trees in my yard. I want to remove them and replace them with something like Cedar Elm or Chinquapin Oak. The problem is that they are t...
view the full question and answer

What plants can be moved from Romulus MI to Cleveland TX?
May 07, 2010 - I presently live and garden in Michigan, but will be re-locating in the next year to Cleveland Texas. What plants, if anything, can or should I bring to Texas?
view the full question and answer

Stress in potted Tif blueberry plants
August 15, 2008 - Recently purchased Tif Blue Blueberry plants (about 3 ft tall)are showing signs of stress. They are in 10 gallon pots. Should they be transplanted? Medium? Fertilizer? Location? Trimming?
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