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

Saturday - October 05, 2013

From: Dripping Springs, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Soils, Trees
Title: Brown leaves on Burr Oak from Dripping Springs TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

We have recently planted a 15 gal. burr oak in an correct hole with great soil and plenty of watering in. We have noticed some brown leaves. Should we be worried?

ANSWER:

How recently? If you planted it in hot weather, which in Central Texas is just about any time except November to January, the trees may be suffering from transplant shock. Quercus macrocarpa (Bur oak), while native to Texas, grows more commonly in areas north of Texas and likes acidic soils, which you are not likely to have in Central Texas. However, we have seen some beautiful specimens of this tree growing right here in Austin, so we know it is viable here. We also would like to mention the "great soil" you planted your tree in. Was this with ample compost added to the soil to facilitate drainage? A lot of soils in Central Texas, in addition to being alkaline, are also clays which, without amending for better drainage, can trap water around the roots and cause problems. We can't answer the question as to whether you should be worried; only tell you what the causes of browning leaves might be. Since it has been so dry and hot here, that alone could have been the cause. We recommend you watch and wait, and begin to worry if the tree does not leaf out again next Spring.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bur oak
Quercus macrocarpa

More Soils Questions

Native plants for clay soil in Lathrop MO
March 21, 2011 - My family just moved to the north Kansas City, MO area and would like to know what native species, both perennial and tree, will do best in the clay soil. It has already proven problematic as we have ...
view the full question and answer

Replacing hawthorn bush with muhly grass from Plano TX
April 10, 2014 - I am thinking of replacing a hawthorn bush with a muhly grass plant or two in an edged area with river rock cover in Plano, texas. It is the black soil and not a sandy loam. We have a sprinkler syst...
view the full question and answer

Garden instructions from Austin
June 12, 2013 - I'm a beginning gardener putting in some new landscaping in my front yard in north central Austin, TX. The yard faces almost due east, so it gets full sun until early afternoon, when the house's sha...
view the full question and answer

Is the Obedient Plant a bog plant?
August 16, 2008 - I purchased 2 obedient plants at a farmer's market in Michigan. As I was unfamiliar with this plant, the merchant told me it did well in full sun. It was just what I needed. When I got home I look...
view the full question and answer

Plant mistakes from Cedar Park, TX
April 09, 2014 - At our "Wilts End" in Cedar Park, TX. and are looking for a tall shrub/tree that will hide a 6-ft tall concrete wall and muffle the noise from a busy street. The wall forms a very wide-angled V shap...
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