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

Aphid infestation from hackberries in Austin
August 22, 2010 - I've got 5 hackberry trees in my yard and they are all heavily infested with woolly aphids! I wouldn't usually mind, but the aphids are now all over my newly planted native plants. I've read up on...
view the full question and answer

Brown spots on young redbuds in Lincoln TX
August 01, 2010 - I have lined my driveway in Lee County Texas with Red bud trees purchased both in Dripping Springs and in College Station. The 14 trees are of varying ages and heights (planted during the fall and wi...
view the full question and answer

Oak Wilt in Georgetown, TX
November 17, 2014 - We have lost several live oaks to oak wilt. Another couple are dying but still have some green leaves. Is it OK to cut down these trees now or should we wait until they are entirely dead? I've heard ...
view the full question and answer

Need to identify a fungus in a flower garden in Lansinging, MI.
April 25, 2012 - I have a fungus in my flower garden. It is white and ground hugging. It is in a moist area under a large spruce where mulch has been laid down. When I step on it , it expels a green dust. What is it a...
view the full question and answer

Damage from feral hogs
September 30, 2009 - Hello. What extent of damage can be expected when planting wildflower seeds in an area regularly visited by feral hogs? In some cases do the hogs actually help plant the seed as they root around? ...
view the full question and answer

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