Contact Us Host an Event Volunteer Join

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 - May 02, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Trees
Title: Live oak wobbling in the ground from Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a live oak that was not planted firmly in the ground by the subdivision builder's landscapers. The entire tree is wobbly to the touch and it has come close to dying as result of windy conditions. It does, however, grow very slowly. I'm concerned that as it gains height, it could be blown over. Should we cut it down, or let it continue to grow?

ANSWER:

This is definitely a serious problem and not anything we could advise you on. You should have a licensed arborist look at the tree, and see if there is anything that could be changed. You could probably dig it out, move it to a bigger, well-prepared hole and hope for the best. However, you shouldn't do that until between November and February because of the danger of Oak Wilt. Plus, quite frankly, we think the tree would die of transplant shock, anyway. The Live Oak is a valuable tree, but the threat of a tree falling on a person or house or car is not worth taking chances.

 

More Trees Questions

Controlling oak suckers in Austin
June 24, 2012 - We have 2 live oak trees that are sprouting shoots all around the surrounding area. We would like to plant some grass and would like to remedy this first. We have mowed the shoots and still they jus...
view the full question and answer

Need plants to replace cedars on a 40 degree slope in Boerne, TX.
August 28, 2012 - My backyard is a roughly 40 degree slope that is covered with cedars. The slope is basically all rock, what can I grow here to replace the cedar which drink too much water. I would still like the area...
view the full question and answer

Failure to thrive of Eastern Redbud in Dearborn, MI
May 26, 2009 - Our Eastern Redbud, multi-stem tree has done well for several years. This year the pods did not fall off, the tree looks anemic, lots of dead stems, no pink blooms this spring. What can we do??
view the full question and answer

Evergreen plants for a windbreak
June 13, 2008 - Our church has need to plant a windbreak. We would like fast growing native plants, preferably evergreen or really early 'leafers' to protect us from our windy season beginning in mid/late February....
view the full question and answer

How to treat bark damage on oak tree
November 15, 2011 - I have an oak tree approx. 50 ft., live in austin, texas. the tree has dropped bark about 3-4 ft above ground, in a section of 4 inches by 8 inches, and the tree appears dark where the bark was. is ...
view the full question and answer

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