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

Thursday - December 17, 2015

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Pin Oak Dropping Leaves Early
Answered by: Anne Van Nest

QUESTION:

I have a large pin oak that's losing it's leaves at this time. Is this too early? I have been watering the tree during the hot, dry weather and overall the tree looks healthy and has a good crop of nuts on it.

ANSWER:

Pin oak is one of the common names for several native and introduced oaks that grow throughout North America and can be referred to Quercus nigra, Quercus phellos, Quercus palustris, and Quercus ellipsoidalis. There's also plenty of confusion between red oaks and pin oaks. But regardless of the exact identity of your oak tree, there is some variance from year to year about when your oak will start to drop their leaves based on the weather. There also could be differences between the same type of oak on when they drop their leaves. If the dormant buds on your tree look healthy, then patience is all that is needed to see how the tree fares next year.

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab has a good webpage about the annual Texas live oak leaf drop that also could explain your pin oak leaf drop.

Each tree can be looked upon as an individual, with specific characteristics.  Those trees may be different genetically, making one shed and produce new leaves quicker than another.  It is also possible that there are environmental and/or physical factors that influences a particular plant to shed quicker.

 

From the Image Gallery


Northern pin oak
Quercus ellipsoidalis

Pin oak
Quercus palustris

Water oak
Quercus nigra

Willow oak
Quercus phellos

More Trees Questions

Specifications for a property in Corning CA
March 29, 2012 - Drought resistant, deer resistant, low growing (ground cover), and shade tolerant request: I am looking for a variety of species that not only fit the above preferences, but also a few other things. ...
view the full question and answer

Trees for privacy in NY
March 17, 2011 - I am looking for trees native to New York that I can plant in front of my backyard fence that is six feet tall that will not hide my fence or overshadow my east facing garden beds and plants underneat...
view the full question and answer

Florida law on removing orange trees
March 24, 2007 - I live in a co-op mobile home park with a board of directors that tell me that if I have to cut down my orange tree that Florida law says that I have to replace it with another orange tree. I say that...
view the full question and answer

Can a mustang grape and an oak coexist in Austin
November 04, 2009 - I have a healthy mustang grape vine growing on an oak in my yard. While the vine provides plenty of good food and a pleasant environment for many birds throughout the year, I feel it is overtaking the...
view the full question and answer

Distinguish between Huisache and Goldenball Leadtree
March 23, 2008 - How do you distinguish between Huisache (Acacia farnesiana) and Goldenball Leadtree (Leucaena retusa)? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

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