Thread: What's wrong with my Shumard Oak?

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  1. #1
    Acorn
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    Exclamation What's wrong with my Shumard Oak?

    I live outside of Fort Worth, Texas and in my front yard is a 20ft-ish Shumard Oak (or so I am told by a friend). Its leaves seem to be shriveling. Upon closer inspection, there is a thick green hard substance on the veins of the leaf and around the edge.

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    The new growth looks normal...

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    ...but then begin to shrivel.

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    The last two pictures came from the same branch, just inches from each other. Eventually they turn brown and shriveled.

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    We had a scorching hot summer last year followed by a wet winter that washed soil away. The tree was planted by the previous owners and they seemed to have planted the tree above the ground line and just built up the soil around the roots. Now it seems that the roots are exposed though I know little about trees, so I don't know how much should be showing.

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    I am going to add another layer of stone to the flower bed and add soil to try to cover the tree roots, but before I do, I would like to know what is going on with tree and how to best "cure" it. On a side note, the city I live in still has level 1 water restrictions so I can only water twice a week.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Oak Trees are neat!'s Avatar
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    Did you or neighbors recently spray any herbicides (including weed b gone type products)?

  3. #3
    Acorn
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    I know our lawnmower guy sprayed some Round-Up in the back yard a month back, but this has been going on before that. This tree is in the front yard. Other than that, I don't think so. My neighbors are the gardening type.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Oak Trees are neat!'s Avatar
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    Here are a few more questions:

    Have you noticed any types of insects or webbing on the tree? try picking off some leaves and unrolling them.
    Is this distortion uniform around the tree?
    Are there other oaks in your area that are exhibiting similar symptoms?

  5. #5
    Acorn
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    I am sorry. For some reason, I am not being sent emails when people post here.

    Anyway, it is dark out so I can't look now but I do know that it is uniform around the tree and there are no insects that I can see. No webbing or holes in the leaves either. I don't believe anyone on my street has oaks. My neighborhood is very small (15 houses) and most have fruitless mulberries (which we also have one of) or pine. These all look healthy. I will look at other trees when I leave for work in the morning but I didn't even know what kind of tree this one was before my friend informed me and I found acorns. Yikes I am bad at this.

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Oak Trees are neat!'s Avatar
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    Your not bad at this. This one it tricky!

    Hmm... Well the big problem I was worried about was anthracnose, but the damage present on the leaves is not consistent. I thought it could be an insect, but I can't find anything that causes that kind of distorted leaf shape.

    To me it looks like herbicide damage. This would have occurred early spring when some of the leaves were just beginning to form. If this is the case, the tree should recover, but it not going to look the best this season.

    I might be missing something, so I would of course ask you to seek out a professional to confirm that this is what is wrong.

    As far as treatment, I assume they will tell you to water it... That is about all you can do in this heat!

    If you do get a second opinion, please post back and let us know what the diagnosis is. There are a lot of people that ask questions about oaks and I would like to learn what was discovered.

  7. #7
    Acorn
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    Ok. Would herbicide do this to new formed leaves to? Like the ones that just...bloomed...what is the word for leaves? Also, I just learned that it did this last year. I don't spray anything but there is a large field literally next to my house. The city used to spray for mosquitoes many times a summer but I haven't seen this year though I am not home all the time.

  8. #8
    Acorn
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    Also, should I add more dirt to the tree? I have no idea where the roots are supposed to lay.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Oak Trees are neat!'s Avatar
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    I would not get too carried away with the dirt. If you could find some good soil that is high in organic matter, you could add enough to just barely cover those roots that would be ok.
    I would focus on adding 3-4 inches of (wood chips) and mulching out to the drip line (see picture) of your tree. Most of your absorbing roots are in the top foot of soil (see picture). These roots are surfacing because there is not enough air for them to survive deeper in the soil. The mulch will improve the overall health of the tree by improving soil structure, helping to retain moisture and keeping weeds/turf grass from competing for nutrients with your tree.
    absorbing roots are in the top foot of soil. These roots are sufacing becasue thier is not enough air for them to survi
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  10. #10
    Acorn
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    Ok! I will do that! Thanks!

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