Oak tree concerns

Asked May 24, 2013, 9:28 AM EDT

I live in Twin Lake, Michigan and we have many very mature (25' to 60') oak trees throughout the area. This year the leaves are not coming out normally. Many of the trees have green leaves at the very top and lower branches have very small and sickly looking leaves that are not filling out. Usually, by this time of year the trees have completely leafed out. Is there a disease that is attacking oak trees this year? Thanks.
Bill Riordan

Muskegon County Michigan trees and shrubs

1 Response

Not being aware of in particular outbreaks in your area and without seeing the damage two things come to mind. One is frost damage and the other is "oak anthracnose" Although unsightly, neither of these would have a profound impact on the tree. In both cases leaves may form from secondary buds. Frost damage can form on the outside lower branches due to the sinking of cold air. Moisture and mild temperatures can create the conditions for anthracnose. Check out the following links for more information on anthracnose. http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/P432oakanthracnose.html http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/cropsystems/M1288.html For a more accurate diagnosis take a sample to your local extension office. Please let us know if you need further assistance.