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Mr. Smarty Plants - Damaged Shumard oak tree in Polk County Texas

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Saturday - July 24, 2010

From: Houston, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: Damaged Shumard oak tree in Polk County Texas
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have a native Shumard Red Oak on our property in Polk County Texas that suffered damage (top blown out) during Hurricane Ike. Last year, one side of the tree browned early while the other side stayed green. This spring the tree budded equally and developed a pretty even canopy. Now (early July) the same side of the tree is starting to brown as last year. The tree does receive water from our sprinkler system but it is on a slope that drains. Any suggestions

ANSWER:

Of course, oakwilt is a serious concern in Texas and Quercus shumardii (Shumard's oak) is especially susceptible to oak wilt. However, the fact that the the brown leaves that fell last year came back green for a time in the spring, probably means your tree doesn't have oak wilt.  Oak wilt in red oaks usually kills the tree rather quickly—within 3 or 4 weeks.  There are other diseases that affect oaks and other deciduous trees in general and specific ones that affect Shumard oaks, but according to University of Florida IFAS Extension Service other pests or diseases aren't generally serious.  Unfortunately, we aren't experts on oak diseases and can't diagnose your tree's problem from afar. If you want to save your trees, you should consider hiring a certified professional arborist who can look at your tree and determine what is causing your problem and how to solve it.

The Texas Forest Service has a page, Storm Recovery for Trees Public Service Announcements (PSA), with helpful messages about tree damage after hurricanes and other storms.



 

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