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

Monday - August 19, 2013

From: Lakeway, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Stressed live oaks from Lakeway TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have some Live Oaks who appear to be stressed (Ball Moss is becoming very prevalent on some of them) during the drought in Central TX. How often and how long should I water them? Thank you very much for your help.

ANSWER:

We know that you didn't infer that the Tillandsia recurvata (Small ball moss) was causing the decline of your oak, as many people think, but we would like for you to read this Floridata article just to reassure you that it is not a parasite, drinking tree blood and killing your tree.

You probably already know what a problem Oak Wilt is in Travis County but it is not the only thing that can go wrong, especially in our hot, droughty weather. Here is a previous answer detailing some of those things, with links to more information.

That previous answer also adds some suggestions on watering, to which we would only add that you can use a hose and lawn sprinkler out on the dripline area, but depending on a sprinkler system to help a tree is not sufficient.

 

From the Image Gallery


Small ball moss
Tillandsia recurvata

Small ball moss
Tillandsia recurvata

Small ball moss
Tillandsia recurvata

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Growing Loblolly Pines Outside Native Range
April 03, 2014 - I would like a stand of pines on my property but do not know if they will grow in my area. Do you know if the soil in Waelder, Texas will support pines?
view the full question and answer

Root rot and transplant shock in Texas betony
July 13, 2006 - Texas betony is supposed to be drought resistant but also likes to be kept moist, but I have had trouble getting it established. These seem to be undemanding plants I have had entire stems dry up and...
view the full question and answer

Where to test for Bacterial Leaf Scorch in Austin, Texas
September 26, 2010 - It appears that the American elm trees in my backyard may have Bacterial Leaf scorch. Where can I have this confirmed?
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

Why are the eastern red cedars in Bastrop/Travis County turning brown?
May 11, 2009 - I live on the Bastrop/Travis county, TX line and have many eastern red cedars on my property. About 10 of them are dying and it has happened quickly with the onset of the warmer weather. I noticed d...
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 | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center