Trees and Shrubs forum→What happened to my oak tree?

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Palmer55
May 8, 2018 8:39 AM CST
Don't know if you can tell just from a photo, but... This was a perfectly good and established oak tree last year. This year when spring came and everything turned green, this one is dead. I am in the Texas Hill Country. Any ideas? Sighing!
Thumb of 2018-05-08/Palmer55/dd0f55


Thumb of 2018-05-08/Palmer55/771285

Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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fwmosher
May 8, 2018 12:47 PM CST
Palmer55: Welcome to the Forums! Some good news! I don't think that is an oak tree, so your real oak tree may still be fine. Not meaning to be sarcastic!! LOL. I have only ever seen or gown oak trees, that have the traditional oak leaf, something like a double maple leaf. Not a good analogy. The tree you sent a picture of, may perhaps be a Birch or a Popular? Can't get a good look at it. Suggestion: Google Oak Leaves, and you will see that your tree does not appear to be same? Please let us know further? Cheers!

Palmer55
May 11, 2018 10:40 AM CST
Duh! Of course you are right. I didn't put enough thought into my post. I was more curious, no matter what type of tree it is, is it normal for it to die so quickly?
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
fwmosher
May 11, 2018 12:09 PM CST
Hi again, no it is not normal for a tree to just up and die, unless it was newly planted the year before, which does not look like the case here. Have you ruled out the possibility of lightning hitting it, any huge breaks in the main tree anywhere? In case of undue wind, are the roots still firmly embedded? Something to try, just to make certain as to whether the tree is still alive or deceased: Take a pocket knife/paring knife, and about two or three feet up from the trunk, scrape vertically about 1/2 x 1/4" wide of the bark and see if you run into any green "pith"? Cheers!

Palmer55
May 12, 2018 1:12 PM CST
Just for closure... I found out it is a Texas live oak. Probably an escarpment live oak . Most likely it froze this past winter. We did have a prolonged freeze (for Texas) and I found out they are susceptible.
Name: Frank Mosher
Nova Scotia, Canada (Zone 6a)
Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds Roses Clematis Lilies Peonies
Region: Canadian Photo Contest Winner: 2017 Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Image
fwmosher
May 12, 2018 7:02 PM CST
Touche!! LOL. It would not be closure if I did not admit outright, that you were indeed correct in calling it an oak tree, more specifically a Texas Live Oak, quercus virginiana! Following is an excert I copied:

"In many towns, including San Antonio to our east, live oaks are often the main street tree, and this is the time of year when falling leaves must be dealt with. Many property owners now find outside their doors what's shown below:

The shiny leaves are live oak leaves, and the dark brown, wormylike items are discarded catkins of male flowers, also from the live oaks. Sometimes a little rain creates considerable dams of live-oak leaves and catkins.
On leafing-out live oaks male catkins are hard to overlook, but unless you know what you're looking for you may not find female flowers, which will mature into the future acorns. They're tiny, greenish things in the axils of expanding new leaves toward the tips of new branches, shown below"
Note: I couldn't copy the picture, which showed the leaves as identical to the ones you posted. Admittedly, I have learned so much in the last few hours about Texas Live Oaks, that I am now suffering from information overload! I can't remember, but it just may be that time of year, when it normally drops it's leaves.
Thank you, I have learned a lot!! Cheers!
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
May 13, 2018 12:44 AM CST
Oak Wilt disease can kill oaks, mostly red oaks and live oaks, very quickly. If that tree is a live oak, I'd have someone (arborist, county extension agent, etc) find out if the tree does have Oak Wilt disease. Not only is it a killer, but it spreads to nearby oaks.

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