Monday, August 10, 2009

Oak Abuse Update

I recently blogged about my neighbor's gorgeous red oak trees, and a tree care company that committed the Cardinal Sin of pruning those oaks on May 22 - smack dab in the middle of the oak wilt danger zone.

I noticed some flagging about 3/4 of the way up the tree. Today I took this photo today from the middle of the street looking up (click to enlarge). I hope it's nothing but the die back sometimes common to mature oaks. I hope it's not the early warning signs of oak wilt. Red oaks usually succumb very quickly - within a matter of months or even weeks - while white oaks sometimes can survive longer before the fungus finally plugs all of the vascular tissue.

Please remember if a tree care "professional" ever offers to prune your oaks in April, May or June - don't let him anywhere near your trees, oaks or otherwise. He has no idea what he's doing.

Meanwhile, I'll keep crossing my fingers for this tree - especially because it's part of a row of at least eight mature red oaks that...

1. Have interlocking, grafted root systems that will spread oak will from tree to tree

2. Are too close together, and have too many impediments such as sidewalks, driveways and street in the way to allow for successful trenching with a vibratory plow to prevent the spread of the fungus from an infected tree to its neighbors.

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