Hard Freeze Preparation in Central Texas 2024

If you are reading this now, it is likely that a "freak" winter event is on its way. Central Texas is known for its variable weather patterns and wide swings in temperature are not unheard of. Weather prediction in Central Texas is difficult, so I would suggest that we prepare for the worst and hope for the best in any predicted extreme event. We are seeing forecast lows of anywhere from 10°F to 15°F  for much of our area, with below freezing temperatures lasting up to 60 hours or more [...]

By |2024-01-11T11:05:21-06:00January 11th, 2024|Vegetable Gardening, Plants, Trees|

Fascinating Fasciation

Plants are always a wonder to me. They come in so many different forms and shapes and colors. As with most living things, they have mutations that occur either spontaneously or as a reaction to an outside agent. Fasciation is one of the most interesting of these mutations that occurs when the tissues in the growing point of the part of the plant called the apical meristem mutates. Fasciation, or cresting as it is sometimes known, can happen in stems, flower heads, fruit, or roots. The causes include viral, bacterial, [...]

By |2023-07-18T15:16:25-05:00July 18th, 2023|Plants, Trees|

What to do When Plants Wilt

*If the plants are in the ground and the soil is moist, it is likely transpirational wilt. Check the soil moisture first, and if it is wet,  your plant is likely experiencing  "transpirational wilt". This occurs when the plant cannot take up water fast enough to replace the moisture loss in the leaves. This often occurs in high temperatures or windy conditions. You can spray down the leaves with water several times a day to raise the humidity and decrease moisture loss from the leaves. There is no need to [...]

By |2023-06-20T10:41:32-05:00June 20th, 2023|Plants, Trees|

Rapid Decline of Post Oaks in Texas

I first became aware of this Decline of Post Oaks when visiting a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension booth at an annual trade show several years ago. I had been aware of how the severe drought in 2011 was continuing to plague our trees even more than a decade later, but had not heard of the Post Oak Decline. The incidence of Rapid Decline began in earnest after the severe drought of 2016. Since then I have experienced first hand the devastation this has caused to so many stately old trees.  [...]

By |2023-06-13T15:29:15-05:00June 13th, 2023|Trees, Disease|

Do Not Allow Grass to Grow Up to the Trunk of a Tree

There are several reasons why you should keep the grass back from the trunks of your trees.        String-trimmer damage to tree trunks is not reversible. Period. The vascular system that is damaged does not repair itself or re-grow after it has been damaged. Trees may show varying amounts of stress from string-trimmer damage, and the wound is a perfect place for disease organisms to enter the tree.             If grass has grown into the mulch ring around your tree, DO NOT USE [...]

By |2023-06-06T16:09:35-05:00June 6th, 2023|Trees|

Oak Wilt Pruning

Oak Wilt Pruning Those of you who have heard the adage “February through June DO NOT PRUNE” probably know that it is in reference to the spread of Oak Wilt. We avoid pruning Oak Wilt susceptible trees like Live Oak and Red Oak during the time that the Nitidulid Beetle is active. This beetle has been identified as a vector of the Oak Wilt Fungus. It feeds on the sweet, sticky fungus that forms under the bark of infected Red Oaks in the spring, and can transmit that fungus to [...]

By |2023-01-16T09:43:48-06:00January 16th, 2023|Trees|

Winter Watering of Established Landscapes in Central Texas

  Winter Watering in Central Texas If you think you have a hard time adjusting to Central Texas drought, seasonal flooding, or freak freezing temperatures, think of what our plants go through! At least we can drink water, go inside to the air conditioning or warm ourselves with central heat. While rain and temperature are things that we cannot control, we can control the amount of water that our plants receive. When we are in a drought year, it is very important that we use our water carefully while keeping [...]

By |2023-12-03T09:33:18-06:00November 30th, 2022|Lawn Care, Plants, Trees|

Tree Care and Maintenance

Watering: -Water your tree religiously for at least one year using the following guidelines, and subsequent years during the hottest months or if we experience high heat or drought conditions. -At the time of planting the tree needs to be deeply watered. Two days after planting the tree needs to be deeply watered again. You can do this by turning on the hose and laying it inside the mulch reservoir, about six inches from the trunk, running it at a steady stream for about thirty minutes. If the reservoir does [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:26:07-06:00November 23rd, 2022|Trees|

How to Check Soil Drainage

Before you decide which species of tree to plant, it is very important to know how well your soil drains internally. Dig a hole that is one foot square and one foot deep. Fill it with water and leave it overnight to drain. Fill the hole with water again the next morning, and measure the level drop per hour. Setting a ruler into the hole and checking the drop hourly is one method. A 1"-3" drop per hour is acceptable, while a 2" drop per hour is ideal. If less [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:27:07-06:00October 18th, 2022|Fruit & Nuts, Trees|

Galls

Plant galls are fascinating to me. They are all around us, yet we seldom notice them unless they appear in a favorite landscape tree. Plant galls are produced by a variety of organisms which include mites, wasps, midges, thrips, fruit flies, moths, psyllids, and aphids, as well as bacteria and fungi. Most plant galls are not harmful to the host plant, with the exception of some formed by bacteria and fungi. Many plant galls are produced by the host plant in response to the egg laying activity of the insects [...]

By |2023-02-28T08:27:30-06:00October 2nd, 2022|Trees, Insects, Disease|
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