Pin Oak die back

Asked June 16, 2014, 4:58 PM EDT

I have been seeing quite a lot of mature Pin Oaks around the Louisville area that have twig and branch die back. Several in the same subdivision. About 2-3 foot in from the ends of the branches. Some areas of the trees the leaves are small. Trunk looks great and no obvious signs of insects. Anyone have any idea or seeing similar symptoms? Heard anything? Could it be the harsh winter and ice we had effecting the Pin Oaks? Homeowners claim the trees were fine last season. Thank you, David

Kentucky trees and shrubs urban forestry

1 Response

Pin Oak trees are susceptible to iron deficiency brought on by neutral or alkaline soil pH. Much of the native soil in the Louisville area has a neutral or alkaline soil pH (7.0 or greater). One symptom of iron deficiency is leaf discoloration/yellowing between the leaf veins. This is called chlorosis. Another symptom is that the tree produces abnormally small leaves, as mentioned in your question. Contact your county extension office (Jefferson County, 569-2344) for information on submitting samples for diagnosis. The UK Extension publication 'Iron Deficiency of Woody Plants' gives more information on this problem and how to correct it.
www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/ID/ID84/ID84.pdf