Tuesday, November 15, 2011

live oak

  • Question:-What are the golden cocoons falling off my Live Oak trees in New Orleans since August?
    My yard, car, driveway and deck are covered in a gold colored cocoon that seems to hang on the bottom of the leaves of my Live Oak Trees. They are everywhere, like little cotton balls and there seems to be no end in sight for their presence in my yard, under the hood of my car, inside the house, etc... What are they? I have never seen this before in 35 years of living in New Orleans. Does it have anything to do with global warming?

    Answer:-Not sure if it has anything to do with global warming, unless that's changing the environment where you live so that pests have a greater chance of survival. Without seeing the items it's hard to guess - take some (in a plastic baggie) to your local Master Gardener or Botanic Garden place (you can find them on the web) and they should be able to ID it for you.
  • Question:-How long does it take for a Live Oak Tree to reach full maturity?
    I have to do a paper on plants and I picked Live Oak. I am stuck because I need to know how long it takes a Live Oak Tree to reach full maturity.

  • Question:-Can a live oak in residential be trimmed if it encroaches neighbors yard?
    Can a live oak tree with branches hanging 25 feet over neighbor's wall and swimming pool be trimmed by that neighbor. Also is there a protected species ordinance or law concerning live oaks in incorporated areas of Los Angeles County

    Answer:-The neighbor can trim straight up the property line if he wants to.
  • Question:-How often should I plant a 4" caliper live oak tree during the winter months?
    I just purchased and transplanted this live oak tree to my front yard, and I need to know how often I should water in the winter, and summer.

    Answer:-You don't say where you live. But generally speaking such a plant would need very little water in the winter as it is not the growing season just as long as the ground is moist that is sufficient. In the spring when the new leaves appear you could put a little fertilizer near it but just a little and not right against the plant , and as the season warms up keep the soil moist but not saturated , some mulch around the tree will help to prevent the ground from drying out. It may also be necessary to put some sort of guard around the tree to prevent rabbits eating it.
  • Question:-How close can I plant a Live Oak tree to my house?
    I want to plant a Live Oak tree near my house for shade. I am concerned about the roots growing under the foundation of my house.

    Answer:-Live oaks are very slow-growing and will not produce substantial shade for many years. If you decide to plant one, you should plant it at least 15 ft away from any structure, not because of root invasion, but because of the size of the eventual canopy. These trees need to be planted away from other vegetation (lawns, ivy) because they will develop crown rot if exposed to regular watering. In their native habitat, they rely only on winter and spring rainfall (20 in/year)
  • Question:-how to get rid of live oak shoots?
    I live in Florida. The neighbour has a live oak tree. My garden is full of shoots. Are they coming from the roots or seeds? The ground is full of roots. I have tried weedkiller but they just sprout again. Any suggestions about how to get rid of them or what to plant in the area. I gave up trying to dig the roots out. This garden has been negected for years, so I am trying to get it into shape.

    Answer:-Be aware that if you kill the tree by using a systemic herbicide or chopping off roots, you could be sued for the replacement value, which could be thousands for a mature tree.

    You could use raised beds in wood frames, but that is expensive. Why not a ground cover of gravel or bark and a bench? A few flowers in large pots.
  • Question:-What could be causing my Live Oak tree to turn brown?
    I just moved into a new home in Texas, the builders planted a Live Oak in the front yard. Some of the leaves are turning brown. I have watered the tree every 3 or 4 days. Any ideas what is causing the tree to have brown leaves? Our soil is very poor clay and I have not fertilized it in the 30 days I have lived in the newly constructed house.

    Answer:-I have had 5 yrs in the Custom landscape industry and have a couple of recommedations. One. If there is a ring of mulch around the tree anything higher than ground level could be causing difficulties in the production of photosynthesis. It kind of causes the tree to "suffocate" and hinders the xylem-phloem circulation. Two. you may have to dig down to the root ball and see if the "genisuses" that installed the tree remembered to cut away the burlap wrap. And Three. Look around your near by neighbors and see if their trees are in the same predicament (look on and under the leaves for possible spots) could be a fungal/bacteria issues, both of which are easy enough to solve with a tree spray found at most local nurseries. Good luck
  • Question:-Can I move a 6' Live Oak without killing it?
    I need to move a small live oak because it's in the place where I'm building a deck. Temperature is averaging about 55 deg right now. Do I need to wait for spring?

    Answer:-No, you can move it now. Get as much of the dirt around the root ball as possible, add fertilizer to the soil and water well after moving and it should be fine.
  • Question:-Why does Spanish moss only grow on hardwoods like live oak?
    Why doesn't it grow as often on pine trees, and never on trees like palm? what features of the live oak make it a good candidate for Spanish moss growth?

    Answer:-You have made a very interesting observation that I had never thought of. First, Spanish Moss is the common name for Tillandsia usneoides, a member of the pineapple family. It is not actually a moss but is a flowering plant. Once a year you can find a tiny red flower on the end of the strands. It is an "airplant" and grows on trees as a epiphyte, not a parasite. It just uses the tree for a place to hang and grow and doesn't harm the tree.

    I found an article in the American Journal of Botany from 1977 which explains that certain trees like live oak and cypress have an abundance of minerals which they leach out through their leaves. The pine trees do not do this. Studies of Spanish Moss in oak groves and pine forests show that the Spanish Moss is more abundant and has a higher mineral content than the Spanish Moss in the pine forest.

    Thank you for a very interesting question.
  • Question:-what are these fuzzy things on my live oak tree?
    I have these creame colored fuzz balls on the leaves of my live oak tree. I cut one open and it looked like seeds inside them.

    Answer:-They are possibly an oak gall. It is caused by an insect. Usually a type of wasp. Look at the web site below. They don't seem to affect tree health so don't worry about them.

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