The Q&A Archives: How to know if a newly planted tree is dead? FOR SKIP

Question: My question is to Skip. We just planted (2) 2-gallon Live Oaks. After one month in the ground, they both have very brown crunchy leaves. We planted both in late Oct and now is late Nov. Not sure if these young trees are just in shock or if they are dead? How do I determine that?

Answer: Brenda,
Sorry for the delayed reply. I've been away for a while but am back at last!
The fact that your oaks browned so fast after planting is an indication of some type of stress. I suspect that the tree's roots either dried out during the process, were burned by excessive salt based fertilizer put in the planting hole or perhaps drown from the soil in the planting hole being kept too soggy wet.

Give them some time and I suspect they will resprout. You may not see anything this winter but with the return of spring some sprouting should be evident if they are going to recover. At that time cut back all dead branches and begin training the new sprouting growth into the desired shape and form.

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