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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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Wednesday - December 29, 2010

From: Wimberley, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Pruning, Trees
Title: Is December a good time to prune oaks in Central Texas?
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Given that we haven't had much cold weather here in central Texas (Wimberley) this season, is it a good time to trim live and Spanish oak trees (damaged limbs and low hanging branches and suckers)? Into 30's at night some days but also into 70's during the day. So is the nitidulid bug active right now here?

ANSWER:

The Texas Forest Service has two articles, Guidelines for Proper Pruning to Prevent Oak Wilt Infection by Kim Camilli and Only You Can Prevent Oak Wilt by Robert Edmonson, that advise not pruning from February through June when the Nitidulid beetles are most active.  So, now, while the weather is reasonably cold, is the perfect time to prune.  Both articles recommend painting the wounds caused by the trimming as soon as the cuts are made no matter what time of year the pruning is done.

 

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