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

Tuesday - October 20, 2015

From: Albany, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Transplants, Watering, Trees
Title: Possible transplant shock in Red Oak in Albany, TX
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

We planted a new tree last spring which we were told was a Texas Red Oak. The soil where it was planted is hard clay. We have had a watering bag on it and have watered an average of 2x per week throughout the summer. All of the sudden the leaves turned a paler green and wilted and now they have all begun to fall off. There is no sign of insects and until the last few weeks it looked very healthy. We live in Albany Texas and have not had rain in the last 6 weeks. Is our tree dead? What should we do to care for it through the winter?

ANSWER:

To determine if your oak is still alive, you can do the “scratch test” (also know as the thumbnail test”). Select a branch and remove some of the bark with your thumbnail. You are looking for green tissue beneath the bark. If you find none at the first site, continue testing further down the stem. If you get to the bottom of the plant without finding any green tissue, the tree is probably dead.

It is hard to diagnose plant problems from afar, but one possibility could be transplant shock, even though the plant is over a year old.

I’m including links to three sites that explain transplant shock, and have suggestions for preventing it, and curing it.

northscaping.com #1

northscaping #2

gardeningknowhow.com

Another source of help closer to home is Shackelford County offices of Texas AgriLife Extension.

 

 

 

More Watering Questions

Water requirements for fruit trees in California
January 15, 2013 - Dear Sir; In which of these options (fruit trees) the need for watering in irrigation process is higher than the others: -Olive tree -Nectarines and peaches trees -Hazelnut trees -Pistachios and ...
view the full question and answer

Watering a vegetable garden in San Marcos TX
March 24, 2012 - Can you give me a general idea how long to run my drip irrigation on my raised vegetable garden? Currently I use it twice daily for one hour. The soil feels slightly moist but not very damp. Should...
view the full question and answer

What fertlilizer for live oaks under drought conditions?
July 01, 2011 - In your June 7 answer about helping live oaks survive the drought, you state that additional fertilization may help as well. What kind of fertilizer to you recommend and how should it be applied? Th...
view the full question and answer

Repotting of lemon cypress for drainage
October 26, 2008 - Hi, I bought a lemon cypress tree in a nice tin, It is in Plastic and the bottom has about 1.5" of water with no drainage in the plastic or tin. It will be kept inside. Does the plant need to be in...
view the full question and answer

Care of Live Oaks
July 11, 2012 - We have Two Young Live Oaks in the front of Our home. We had them treated for insects, ect. Now what can we do to make them Full Green and Happy Happy Happy again.Thank You
view the full question and answer

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