Live oaks will snap back from cold snap

Live oaks can lose their leaves during the dry season.
Live oaks can lose their leaves during the dry season.

Q: I have a live oak in South Dade that only grows half the leaves. The leaves at the end of the branches are disappearing rapidly, have small brown spots and are eaten around the edges.

R.S., via e-mail

A: During the dry season live oaks lose their leaves, which often look blemished. Some trees will lose more leaves than others and some trees drop more leaves at one time than other trees in the same landscape. This is mostly due to genetic differences.

During mid-February, most oaks had lost most of their leaves because of the cold snap in early January. But there is nothing wrong with your tree. New leaves will appear soon.

Adrian Hunsberger is an entomologist/horticulturist with the UF/IFAS Miami-Dade Extension office. Write to Plant Clinic, 18710 SW 288th St., Homestead, FL 33030; e-mail

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