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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.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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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!

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Wednesday - June 24, 2015

From: Driftwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Why are large numbers of leaves falling from my Live Oak trees in Driftwood, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Today is June 6, 2015 and I have noticed that for the last week and a half, only a few live oaks out of many, have been losing large numbers of green leaves and turning brown on the ground. I cannot figure out what is happening and terribly worried that there is some disease that is making this happen and these trees are extremely special and would not want to see them die. Please help as soon as possible.

ANSWER:

You are probably aware that live oaks Quercus virginiana (Coastal live oak) lose their old leave in the Spring, and grow a new set right away. This gives them the appearance of being evergreen tree, but they are not. Since all of your trees are not dropping leaves at this time, something else is probably going on.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself: what do the trees that are dropping leaves have in common? How are they different from the other trees? Have the growing conditions around the trees recently changed dramatically?

For help with these questions, I suggest you contact the Hays County Office of Texas AgriLife Extension in order to have  a knowledgeable person to take a look at your trees.

 

From the Image Gallery


Coastal live oak
Quercus virginiana

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