3 Common Diseases Of Oak Trees

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Oak tree

3 Common Diseases Of Oak Tree

Oak trees are a source of pride for any homeowner. These sturdy trees can live for centuries and are thought to be indestructible but just like any other tree they can catch diseases that can severely weaken or even kill the biggest oak. If you have a prized oak in your yard then you need to pay special attention to its health because a tree that took 100 years to grow can be felled by the smallest of organisms.

Oak Leaf Blister

A fungal disease of the leaves caused by Taphrina caerulescens. Produces raised circular bumps on leaves from 2 inches in diameter and up. Most oak trees are vulnerable to the disease especially the red oak.

Blistering leaves from the bottom up, inside to outside.
Dropping of leaves with heavy blistering

Is It Deadly?
No, although the tree might lose a significant amount of leaves.

Bur Oak Blight

Only affecting bur oaks, this slow moving fungus survives through the winter on infected leaves that remain attached to the tree. In the spring wet weather causes the fungus to spread to other leaves. Symptoms do not usually appear until late July or early August. When fall arrives the infected leaves will hang on to the tree to infect more of it next year. As the infection spreads over the course of several years it severely weakens and stresses the tree leaving it vulnerable to secondary pests and diseases.

-Leaf veins turn black
-Wedge shaped lesions on leaf
-Leaf drop
-Infected leaves remain attached to tree in fall

Is It Deadly
Not directly. The disease can weaken the tree enough to be killed by a secondary disease.

Oak Wilt

Oak Wilt is caused by a fungus originally from Latin America and is carried by beetles that feed on the sap of oak trees. It has been confirmed in 56 counties in Michigan. The Michigan DNR recommends not pruning your oaks from April through the end of summer because this is when the tree is most vulnerable. Affects both red and white oaks, but is more common in red oaks.

-Sudden leaf wilt from the top down
-Tips of leaves browning
-Rapidly dropping leaves.

Is It Deadly?
Yes, very much so. The disease has spread rapidly throughout Michigan in recent years and can kill a mature oak in as little as 3 weeks.

Don’t lose that respectable oak in your yard. If you suspect your oak has a health problem don’t wait, contact Go Green Lawn and Tree Care for a free estimate and make sure that tree can be enjoyed by another generation.

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