Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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
Not Yet Rated

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

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Newly planted nuttall oaks from Houston TX
November 16, 2012 - I recently purchased two Nuttall Oak Trees in Houston Texas (October). They are both 15' or taller. I planted them within 24 hours of being delivered, watered them in, staked them, and within 3-4 d...
view the full question and answer

Pustules on geranium
March 28, 2005 - I have a geranium that has developed oblong red/brown pustules/raised bumps on the undersides of the lower leaves. The foliage around the bumps is stil green but everything else has yellowed
view the full question and answer

Cottony infestation on Turk's Cap in Austin
July 05, 2010 - The Turks Cap in my front planter is well-established and, overall, happy and blooming. However, some of the top leaves, those in the most shaded area, have what looks like a thin, loose layer of cot...
view the full question and answer

What is causing leaf drop on oak in Morgan Hill CA?
June 23, 2010 - Dear Mr Smarty Plants: We have a large, young Valley Oak (about 20 yrs) which is dropping leaves even now in early summer. I have a feeling that the problem might be an invasive weed that is flourishi...
view the full question and answer

Stem canker or leaf fungus in Morella cerifera
June 14, 2007 - Dear Mr.Smarty Pants: The upper half of our wax myrtle, which we had allowed (with artful pruning) to reach about ten feet suddenly died this spring (it dropped most of its leaves and didn't sprout...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.