Oak Trees - Knowledgebase Question

Loudon, Te
Avatar for jimarlyn
Question by jimarlyn
July 1, 2010
We have a number of oak trees in our yard and a couple of them are shedding some of their bark. There is bark underneath so no bare spots. Is this normal.

Answer from NGA
July 1, 2010
as long as the foliage on the oak is green and looks healthy the tree is ok. Sounds like a fungus on the bark making the bark shed. The oak maybe decaying on the inside but this dose not mean that the trees is going to die. When a decay fungus gets into a wound the fungus will grow into the woody part of the tree and decay the wood. The living layer under the bark is the cambium and this is the living tissue of the tree that supplies the leaves and roots with food and water. The only thing the wood is for is for support and this decay if it grows into a limb may cause the limb to break off during a wind storm. Again as long as the foliage is green and healthy looking the tree is OK. There is a tool called an increment borer that can be drilled into the tree trunk and it will take a core from the wood and you can see if the inside is decayed. You can call the local State Forestry agency and ask one of their Foresters to come take a look and bring an increment borer to check the decay. But there is nothing that can be done to stop the decay but the good news is it is very very slow and tree live for many years with hollow trunks. The best thing is to fertilize the trees that fall and water during droughts to help extend the life period of the tree. Hope this helps and good luck with your oaks!

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