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

Mountain Laurel suffering from Spring freeze
May 12, 2015 - I have a 4 1/2 ft Texas Mountain Laurel shrub in current location for several years. A hard freeze this spring killed every leaf on the tree, but the stems remained green. My other smaller Mt. Laure...
view the full question and answer

Green cyst-like growths on Texas persimmon leaves
September 20, 2013 - We have a mature Texas persimmon. We just noticed some green cyst-like growths on the tops of some of the leaves. The undersides of those leaves have black spots where the growths are. They looks like...
view the full question and answer

Unknown ailment of Turk's cap in northeast Texas
July 01, 2013 - I just moved from the Dallas area to Emory in the north east part. I brought two young Turk's cap plants in pots. I had to leave the mother plant behind. The tops have a very curled and shrunken a...
view the full question and answer

Problems with a Sherman (Shumard?) Oak from Bixby OK
May 14, 2012 - We have done extensive research on oak fungi/diseases/pests could be affecting our Sherman Oak tree but we are stumped. The leaves are falling off and have some sort of moldy bunch within the leaf it...
view the full question and answer

Gaura Plants Dying In PA
July 16, 2014 - I had six gaura plants. They were beautiful last year. Now I have one that is doing well and the others are dying slowly one at a time. I don't understand this. They are on a slight slope and have ...
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