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Tree and Landscape Guide
Resources for Lawn and Landscape

These are a few of the many websites available with information specific to the San Antonio area. If you have a favorite site that is not listed, please use the Contact Us page to send us information about the website.
SAWS WaterSaver newsletter: This weekly publication will help you create striking landscapes that use less water. Get personalized watering advice, based on current weather conditions, to keep your landscape healthy– from drought to downpour.

Plant Answers:  The weekly articles of Dr. Calvin Finch, as published in the San Antonio Express News, offer seasonal gardening and planting advice.

Gardening Calendar: A monthly guide for planting, pruning, yard maintenance and more, by Dr. Jerry Parsons for PlantAnswers.com
Tree Preservation and Oak Wilt Suppression Guidelines
Elm Creek is located within the City of San Antonio; therefore, all residents are subject to city ordinances and guidelines regarding landscape and tree preservation.  The following neighborhood guidelines have been established:

• Hire only companies possessing a Tree Maintenance Licenses issued by the City of San Antonio. 

• Avoid pruning or wounding oaks between February 1 and July 1. This includes ball moss removal that results in tree wounds.

• Paint all wounds on oaks within 30 minutes of the wound with exterior oil or latex based paint.

The Texas Forest Service offers the following useful information about preventing oak wilt:

“Prevention plays an important role in the management of oak wilt. Landowners and homeowners can take an active role in oak wilt prevention by taking the following steps:

1. Avoid pruning or wounding oaks between February 1 and July 1. This is the time of year when oak wilt fungal mats are most likely to form and nitidulid beetles are active. If a nitidulid beetle carries oak wilt spores from a fungal mat to a fresh wound on an uninfected oak tree, the fungus could become established in the disease-free tree. The least hazardous periods for pruning are during the coldest days of midwinter or extended periods of hot weather in mid- to late summer.

2. Sterilize/Sanitize all pruning equipment between trees using denatured methyl alcohol (shellac thinner), isopropyl alcohol, or a general purpose household disinfectant such as Lysol, Listerine, Pine-Sol or related products. Using household bleach is NOT recommended as it can be corrosive to pruning tools as well as people.

3. Immediately paint all wounds on oaks to prevent contact with contaminated beetles. Wounds should be painted, regardless of the time of year they were made, with commercial tree wound dressing or latex paint (color doesn’t matter!). Wounds can be either man made or natural and include freshly-cut stumps and damaged surface roots.

4. Do not transport or buy unseasoned firewood. Fungal mats may form on unseasoned red oak firewood infected with oak wilt making it possible to spread oak wilt to uninfected areas. Seasoned firewood (dried for at least one year) should not present a threat of spreading oak wilt. Also, burning infected wood cannot transmit oak wilt.”
The San Antonio City Code regarding Oak Wilt and the licensing of tree trimmers states:
Sec. 21-170. General requirements.

(a) The provisions of this section apply to any person, firm, corporation, business entity, city department, public or private utility to the extent permitted by law.

(b) All wounds to the trunk, limbs and root system of oak trees in the city that expose sapwood shall be painted within thirty minutes of the wound with asphaltic or exterior oil or latex based paint.

(c) Firewood from oak wilt infected trees shall not be brought into the city at anytime.
(Ord. No. 97332, § 18, 3-13-03)
Sec. 21-171. Tree maintenance license.
It shall be unlawful for any person or firm to engage in the business or occupation of pruning, treating, or removing trees for profit without first applying for and procuring a tree maintenance license. A tree maintenance license shall require proof of continuing education credits at a minimum of four (4) hours per three-year licensing period before the license is issued, provided however, the initial issuance of a license shall be for a period of one (1) year to allow the applicant to obtain the necessary continuing education credits. The license shall be valid for three (3) years and the fee shall be paid in advance. No license shall be required of any employee of a public utility or the city.
(Ord. No. 97332, § 18, 3-13-03)
Sec. 21-172. Penalty
Violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be a misdemeanor offense and shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00) for the first offense and a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than ($500.00) for the second offense.
(Ord. No. 97332, § 18, 3-13-03)
Secs. 21-173--21-199. Reserved.