Many people associate the oak tree with Central Texas. But as powerful and imposing as they are, even the greatest oak can succumb to illness. The best way to protect your trees is to know the common oak tree diseases and what to do about them.
During early spring, be on the lookout for powdery mildew on your oak trees. This disease makes itself known through a white, powdery substance growing over the surface of leaves, impeding photosynthesis and occasionally causing early leaf drop. On live oaks, you may also find deformed growths on the tips of the branches.
Fortunately, oak trees can recover from a powdery mildew infection. Address this common oak tree disease by treating the tree with fungicide or neem oil. Even if the tree loses its leaves early this year, it should recover and leaf as normal the following year. Planting your trees in direct sunlight and providing adequate airflow in plant beds will help prevent powdery mildew from forming.
Bacterial Leaf Scorch
Leaf scorch often looks like several other stress-related issues. Symptoms typically appear in late fall when the leaves on older, more vulnerable branches turn brown prematurely. The next spring, the leaves will continue to grow as normal, but the next fall, more leaves will brown prematurely. This cycle continues for five or more years until branches begin to weaken and die from lack of foliage.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for leaf scorch, but you can take steps to prolong your oak tree’s life. Simply taking the time to prune a tree and water it on particularly hot days can help. You can also inject roots with an antibiotic every year to help mitigate symptoms, but you should consult an arborist beforehand to confirm your tree has leaf scorch.
Oak wilt is one of the more concerning tree diseases among arborists, particularly for red oaks. This disease usually sets in around mid-April and begins with premature yellowing within the canopy of the tree. Over the next few weeks, the wilting proceeds down the branches of the tree, ultimately killing it. The disease then spreads to other trees within close proximity through the root systems.
Because oak wilt is extremely lethal, the only recourse for property owners is to remove the tree before it can impact surrounding oaks. Fortunately, our Austin tree removal services can help remove any species of oak quickly, and our certified arborists can provide valuable insight on how to protect your other trees.