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

Saturday - June 02, 2012

From: Towson, MD
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Diseases and Disorders, Trees
Title: Leafing out problems with oaks in Towson MD
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

3 native 5-year-old oaks kept old leaves until March and are not leafing by the end of May. The few leaves that have emerged are shriveled. WHAT'S WRONG?

ANSWER:

We seem to be getting lots of questions about leaves of oak and other trees not behaving as expected. Most often, we blame it on the previous years' inadequate rain as well as intense heat, at least for the trees in Texas. We are going to look for websites that address this matter as well as some previous Mr. Smarty Plant questions that might give you clues:

Denton, TX

Austin, TX

Ask Extension.org

Maryland Cooperative Extension

We are not having much luck finding information on the specific symptoms you are describing, so we feel it must have something to do with the climatic conditions, but could also be a disease with which we are not familiar. Since we are not plant pathologists, we suggest you contact the Maryland Cooperative Extension Office for Baltimore County. If this sort of problem is appearing in other area trees, they will know about it and have some suggestions. You also might consider having a licensed arborist look at it.

 

 

 

More Diseases and Disorders Questions

Smarty Plants on mockoranges
May 25, 2005 - I live in Colorado where it is common to have 1 or 2 late frosts. I planted 4 littleleaf mockoranges (Philadelphus Microphyllus) 2 years ago and they are pretty much in full sun most of the day. I h...
view the full question and answer

Orange patches circling cedar branches
May 15, 2010 - We have dry rusty orange patches that circle several of our Cedar branches. There are a few orange blobs on different limbs, but they do not look like the pictures of Cedar Rust (no horns). The foli...
view the full question and answer

Texas sage losing inner leaves
May 14, 2015 - I have a Texas Sage bush that on the outside is beautiful with green leaves. The inside branches (the middle) of the bush are bare of any leaves. Why?
view the full question and answer

What is eating the plants in my garden?
August 08, 2008 - I have both purple and yellow coneflowers. Something is coming into my garden and eating the flowers off the stems. We don't have deer but may have other small animals that can get into our yard. Do ...
view the full question and answer

Beetles in spineless prickly pear in Austin
June 05, 2010 - I have an enormous spineless prickly pear in my front garden. It's about 6 feet tall, and 6 feet wide. It has blossoming yellow flower. However, it also has large colonies of black beetle-ish bugs li...
view the full question and answer

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