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
2 ratings

Wednesday - July 22, 2009

From: Cedar Park, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Brown spots on live oak leaves in Cedar Park, TX.
Answered by: Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I have a live oak that was planted 4 years ago. It had several brown spots last summer, but recovered over the winter. Now it has lots of brown leaves and looks very sad. What is the best way to help it get better? Thank you!

ANSWER:

Diagnosing plant diseases or disorders via email is tricky business. 

The most likely cause of the brown leaves on your live oak is water stress -- either too little or too much.  Since Central Texas is now in the midst of a two-year drought and an exceptionally hot summer, we going to say the most likely cause is too little water.  However, overwatering can be just as deadly.

Disease is a possibility.  Oak Wilt disease is common in your area.  However, we would not expect to see it just now since the fungus is most active in the spring and fall.

The best way to find out for sure what is wrong with your tree and to learn what to do about it is to employ a certified arborist.  Another alternative is to consult with your county's Cooperative Extension Service agent.

 

More Trees Questions

Pruning Wax Myrtle trees & bushes
February 28, 2016 - When is the best time of year to prune Wax Myrtle trees & bushes.
view the full question and answer

Does Helasia diptera absorb toxic substances from Dover Plains NY
March 09, 2012 - Dear Mr. Plants, Halesia carolina is described as absorbing toxic substances: herbicides, pesticides and pollutants from water, air and soil. Does Halesia diptera do the same? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Protecting the Texas madrone from construction damage
January 11, 2010 - What is the best way to protect Texas Madrone trees (small, 8'-10') from damage during construction of a new home on a site with some single, some grouped Madrones?
view the full question and answer

Tree for caliche soil in Cochise County, Arizona
August 15, 2012 - What trees will thrive in areas of moderate caliche soil in southeast Arizona? My property is at 4,200 feet of elevation. Thanks for your help
view the full question and answer

Patio materials under a native oak trees in Missouri
March 02, 2009 - Is it safe to build a pavestone patio (with gravel sub base, Geo tech 101 fabric and sand bed..around two 50+ year old native oak trees? I know concrete would compact and cause damage to the surface ...
view the full question and answer

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