Chinkapin oak trunk damage

Asked December 3, 2012, 11:05 AM EST

The base of the trunk of a chinkapin oak in our yard has recently become somewhat bulbous in shape and appears to be rotting. Pieces of bark can be easily pulled off. There is some oozing present The leaves of this tree are turning color more quickly than the others of same oaks in our yard; the ends of some of the branches are missing leaves, especially at the top of the tree. What might be causing this? THere is a large ant pile near the base of the tree. Could they be boring into the trunk?

Burnet County Texas trees and shrubs oaks horticulture

1 Response

Thank you for you question. I do not believe the ants are doing the damage. If anything, they are taking advantage of the debris from the tree. I believe that the publication link below is the best diagnosis given the information you have provided. In regards to the oozing, Bacterial Wetwood would be the culprit. I am including another link for your review. Thank you for the question and information to help identify the problem.

http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/main/popup.aspx?id=1262
http://harris-agrilife-org.wpengine.netdna-cdn.com/files/2011/05/Bacterial-Wetwood.pdf