Monterrey Oaks: Shade solution that is less susceptible to oak wilt!
October 15, 2013
Who doesn’t love an oak tree? Take a glance around the Dallas/Fort Worth area and you’ll be hard pressed not to see a live oak or red oak in your sightline. Problem is everyone plants these two types of oaks. And while live and red oaks are beautiful and useful shade trees, we’ve created what could be considered an oak monoculture with a lack of diversity.
Why would a monoculture be a problem? Well, oak wilt disease is a big problem for our oak population. Planting mostly one or two species that are highly susceptible means the disease can spread quickly and freely. Losing a large established shade tree is heart-breaking. So what can you do to help prevent these kinds of losses?
Diversity in nature is always a great defense against pests and diseases. By selecting different species of trees and oaks that are better able to resist oak wilt disease, you can reduce losses. One such species is the Mexican White Oak, also known as the Monterrey Oak (Quercus polymorpha). White Oaks are better able to resist oak wilt disease. This is a beautiful medium to large sized oak that is just about as drought tolerant as a live oak. In the DFW area, Monterrey Oaks lose their leaves in the winter, but further south in the state they are often evergreen.
Monterrey Oaks are fairly fast growing as far as oaks go. The bark is rough and the leaves are oblong with medium sized acorns. Monterrey oaks can almost be considered a Texas native tree, but there is only a small population of them growing natively in the Laredo area. They’re most often found growing natively in Mexico. But plants thrive in Texas and are becoming a favored oak amongst landscapers.
So, if you’re looking for a beautiful large oak to provide shade on your home, grow quickly and not succumb to oak wilt, a Monterrey Oak just might be the perfect solution! Fall and winter is an excellent time to plant new trees in Texas, so don’t wait until spring. If you have a Live Oak or Red Oak on your property, and are concerned about oak wilt, fall is also an excellent time for preventative treatment.