Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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
2 ratings

Wednesday - October 01, 2008

From: Pearland, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Replacement for dead oak tree after hurricane
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Mr. Smarty Plants, It still is hard to believe but my dead Oak tree survived H.Ike! Now that I've gotten that dreaded letter from the HOA, they want me to replace it with at least a 45 gallon tree. Is it an old wives tale that you can't plant another oak there? I'd be glad to send a picture of this sad tree. I was thinking of replacing it with LBJ Magnolia tree. Any thoughts?

ANSWER:

Hurricane Ike was truly a disaster, and this is the second question we have received from Pearland on tree replacements. See this previous answer, which covers types of oaks recommended for replacement by an HOA. We mention this because we're curious as to why your oak tree died. You didn't say what oak you have, but you'll notice in the answer we linked you to that several oaks are very susceptible to oak wilt.  We couldn't find any substantiation to the idea that you could not plant another oak where one had already grown. Oaks do provide themselves with some protection from other plants encroaching on their territory, defending root space, nutrient availability and water, as do many other plants; see this previous answer on allelopathy of oaks. But, if your tree died of some disease, if for no other reason, we would recommend you not replace it with another oak, at least not one susceptible to oak wilt. 

We would recommend that you get a trained arborist to assist you with this. In the first place, removal of the dead oak is going to be necessary, including checking for disease. In the second place, planting a 45 gallon tree is a job for specialized equipment and knowledgeable personnel. If your HOA did not give you a list of replacement trees from which to choose, we have three that we would recommend, including a magnolia, since you indicated you were interested in planting one.

Magnolia grandiflora (southern magnolia) - relatively fast-growing, difficult to grow anything under it because of deep shade, evergreen

Quercus macrocarpa (bur oak) resistant to oak wilt, drought resistant, long-lived, relatively fast-growing, resistant to air pollution

Ulmus crassifolia (cedar elm) - hardy, drought resistant, adaptable to broad range of soil types


Magnolia grandiflora

Quercus macrocarpa

Quercus macrocarpa

Ulmus crassifolia

 

 

 

More Trees Questions

Native plants both deer resistant and good for erosion from North Oaks MN
August 23, 2012 - We have several partially sunny areas on hills that are prone to both deer and erosion. Our goal is to reduce runoff in an effort to preserve the watershed that provides tap water to many citizens of ...
view the full question and answer

Planting and care of Desert Willow in Golden Valley, AZ.
May 17, 2013 - I got a desert willow to plant in yard. Some of the leaves dried out before I could plant. Will that stop the tree from growing into a decent size tree or stay as a shrub?
view the full question and answer

Evergreen thorny bush for California
May 01, 2010 - I need to find an evergreen thorny type bush, shrub or tree that will grow with about 3-4 hours of morning sun only. Prefer CA native, inland/semi coastal. Purpose: To provide a deterrent for "tag...
view the full question and answer

Viability of Desert Willow in clay soil in Fredericksburg, TX
November 25, 2005 - I have recently purchased a house in a new subdivision in Fredericksburg, TX. The lot was not landscaped. I have a small lot (85 X 135), my back yard is about 50 X 85. The soil is a heavy clay. I am c...
view the full question and answer

Fertilizing oaks to produce more acorns
March 04, 2009 - What type of fertilizer would I use on oak trees to possibly increase growth and acorn production ? I have some flooded oak timber that is home to migrating ducks but there is little for them to eat.
view the full question and answer

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