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

Monday - May 14, 2012

From: Stillwater, OK
Region: Southwest
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Oak bark problems from Stillwater OK
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

In my clients large oak tree there is bark stripped from the limbs in small pieces. No piece is larger than 1 inch by 1 inch and occurs on limbs high in the canopy. It does not look like squirrel doings and has a small fungus attached to the bottom of bark. I also noticed an influx of beetles with greenish metalflake tint.

ANSWER:

You didn't say what oak your client has; some oaks are more susceptible to certain diseases than others. Our first thought when a diseased tree is brought to our attention is Oak Wilt, which is more predominant in red oaks, live oaks, than in others, like white oaks.

Here are some websites you need to look at:

Texas Oak Wilt.org Oak Wilt Spread - includes pictures of the nitidulid beetles, which transmit the disease

Diseases in Oklahoma Oak Trees

TexasOakWilt.org - Home page, links to more articles about disease

Video of Oak Wilt

Images of Oak Wilt and Sudden Oak Death

Frankly, this is really something that should be looked at by a licensed arborist. If it is Oak Wilt, there is no cure, but the tree should be taken down in order to protect other oaks in the vicinity. Please note in the articles the precautions that should be taken when cutting down or pruning an oak tree.

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Problem with Quercus texana (Nuttall oak) in Alabama
March 12, 2014 - I have a 3" diameter Nuttall Oak that the builder planted when building the house. Last summer I noticed that several spots on the trunk were oozing sap (vertical approximately 1.5" long by 0.5" wi...
view the full question and answer

Demise of Flameleaf Sumac in Austin, TX.
July 31, 2012 - My Flameleaf Sumac suddenly died. Beetles came out around the trunk when I cut it down. How can I prevent this on the other sumac?
view the full question and answer

Tilling for grass under old live oak in San Antonio
April 15, 2012 - Hi, I have a 250+ year old Texas Live Oak. As usual, the lawn under the tree, after 18 years needs to be redone. MY QUESTION: to put down new sod the lawn company needs to till the soil about 4 t...
view the full question and answer

Bugbane Leaf Blotch
January 24, 2013 - My bugbanes (Cimicifuga/Actaea) seem to suffer from black blotches on the leaves in the summer. This happens even when they have adequate moisture. I also see it on the ones growing wild. Is this a fu...
view the full question and answer

Problems with hibiscus in Florida
November 09, 2008 - Have a hibiscus in Florida. It has always done beautifully planted in the ground. This year, it has developed something where the branches are sort of white, and the buds (and ends of branches) look ...
view the full question and answer

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