Roots, Shoots, Fruits & Flowers: Late Live Oak, Lawn Burweed, and Squash ailment


A leafless live oak.
Photo: Fred Carter.

Late Live Oak

“Hello, I have a question about my live oak tree. It has not leafed out properly this year. Two other trees nearby have leafed out nicely. They are all fertilized yearly. I think this tree may have done this last year and eventually leafed out,” wrote Fred.

Trees are individuals and have different genetics. Some trees leaf out early, and some trees are late starters. Some trees drop their leaves early in the fall, and some later.

Let me share a practice to help the help of all your live oaks. If you could pull a lawn aerator under your trees, then you will reduce the soil compaction and help your roots. The holes will also help with rain reaching the roots and some of the fertilizer will fall into the holes.

Later, Fred shared a follow-up email about his trees, “I checked on the oak tree and it has leafed out quite a bit more, not completely, but looking much better than earlier.”


Lawn burweed or stickerweed.
Photo: Jim Simon.

Lawn Burweed

Here is a lawn topic from a homeowner, “My name is Jim and I live on Camp Baker Road in Vernon Parish.

I am not sure, but I think it maybe Lawn Burweed that has taken over a lot of my lawn, front and back. I have attached a picture of the nasty weed. There are mean little stickers on this plant, even when they are green. Please advise on how to get rid of this weed. Thank you for your time. Stay safe.”

Yes, you correctly identified lawn burweed (LB) or stickerweed. You can use herbicides with atrazine (like Image) or 2,4-D (like Spectracide) to kill it, but the stickers will still be on the dead plants.

AHA used to have LB in his yard but treated in February to kill it before it has stickers. LB tends to be in high traffic places like at gates, patio edges, shed entrances, etc. So far, early treatments have been successful in AHA’s own lawn.

You will need to scout for LB in February 2021 and then treat for LB to avoid spring stickers.


Squash leaf with probable cold damage.
Photo: Shontesa Crochet-Hine.

Squash ailment

Tesa was concerned about her squash and asked, “All of my squash was growing beautifully and now they have yellowish spots growing on the leaves. What is it and what can I do about it?”

The best estimate for the cause is cold damage from April’s cold temperatures in the 40’s. The plant will likely recover and be productive.

If you want to contact Roots, Shoots, Fruits and Flowers, please send your questions and pictures to Keith Hawkins, Area Horticulture Agent (AHA), 337-463-7006 or Also, you can be on the “green thumbs” email list by emailing your request to the address above.

“This work has been supported, in part, by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources Extension Act Award, Accession Number 1011417.”

5/6/2020 3:41:05 PM
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