En Español

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
1 rating

Saturday - July 13, 2013

From: Arlington, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Problems with red oak trees in North Central Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Eric Beckers

QUESTION:

What is the disease effecting Red Oak trees in North Central Texas; causing them to lose leafs in Spring/Summer and turning the remaining leaves light yellow/lime green in color. Thank you.

ANSWER:

To answer your question, I contacted Eric Beckers, Forester, with the Texas A&M Forest Service Project in Austin.  He, in turn, asked for input from Courtney Blevins with Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council that includes your area of North Central Texas.  Here is what Eric (and Courtney corroborated) said about your trees' problems:

"Our main threats to red oaks in North Central Texas are oak wilt, drought related secondary insects (borers) and diseases (hypoxylon), and urbanization (bulldozer blight).  Bacterial leaf scorch can cause chlorosis and dieback and is usually accompanied by a large amount of marginal burn and defoliation.  But far too often the chlorotic oaks we witness are ones that should have stayed in Louisiana or Arkansas where they came from.  In other words, their genetics were just not right for our high pH soils and they develop nutrient deficiencies that usually cannot be corrected.  These off-colored oaks are often less then 10-20 years of age and usually exhibit twig dieback and are typically short lived.

The answer is to plant trees grown from seed sources collected in a similar habitat or ecoregion.  Not always an easy task, but the best nursuries will most often carry plants that will adapt to their market's environment.  We should plant native Texas red oaks and possibly western seed source Shumard oaks in Central Texas, not East Texas seed sources or hybridized (another issue) red oaks that do best in more acidic and moist soils found the other side of the Sabine River."

Here is the Texas Forest Service link to diseases and insect pests.

You can visit the Texas A&M Forest Service Urban Forestry page to find contact information for the office in your area.

You can find the names and contact information for Certified Arborists in your area on the Texas Chapter of International Society of Arboriculture page.

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Care and fruiting time of pumpkins
October 06, 2007 - This is my first year growing pumpkin. I have a good vine with flowers now & then, but I still don't see a little pumpkin forming. What am I doing wrong?
view the full question and answer

Possible reasons for death of Wax Myrtle (Morella cerifera) in Austin
April 04, 2006 - Several wax myrtles in my neighborhood appear to have died. Should we have the soil or tree checked for fungus, or should we atrribute the death to freeze or age of the trees?
view the full question and answer

Safe Concrete Planters For Plants?
February 24, 2015 - We are building low concrete walls around a patio (in Washington, DC). Can we create the walls to act as planters or will the lime leaching make the soil too inhospitable for most plants?
view the full question and answer

Beneficial earthworms attacked by fire ants
August 04, 2006 - Is there a right way or a trick to releasing earthworms? I have a friend who has an abundance of earthworms in their soil so I took advantage of the situation. I released them in my freshly tilled gar...
view the full question and answer

Round growths on Mexican buckeye
April 28, 2008 - I have two pink buckeyes next to each other in my yard. The branches on one are completely covered in brown, round growths about the size of a pill bug. The other tree has none. Can you tell me what t...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center