The Q&A Archives: oak tree problem

Question: My 30 yr old oak tree has brown dried leaves at the tip of almost each limb. There seems to be a tiny bug or fungus that is attached to the tips of the limbs. It is powdery when touched. (This oak drops its leaves in the winter - I don't know what type it is/sorry.) Otherwise the tree appears healthy.Should I have it sprayed with a pesticide? I live in NW Louisiana. HELP!

Answer: I wish I could diagnose the problem with your oak tree but without being able to inspect the problem areas, I'd just be guessing. Powdery mildew can attack the tips of the stems, but so can an insect pest called the oak twig girdler. To complicate matters, other insects and diseases can cause simlar symptoms. Rather than guess, I'd suggest taking samples of the affected leaves and stems to your cooperative extension office for microscopic exam and identification. Helpful folks there can recommend control measures. Contact LSU Cooperative Extension Service, 1 University Pl, Shreveport, LA 71115-2301 phone (318) 797-5137?.

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