Oak tree disease

Asked June 25, 2014, 9:05 AM EDT

I have many mature oak trees--during this past weekend, a oak tree that appeared to be healthy, with just a few dead branches fell to the ground (there was no wind whatsoever. Upon looking, the base was rotten and soft. I have another tree that looks like there is clear sap-like substance oozing from the base, with maggotts in the discharge. Will they turn into the beatles that distroy the oak trees, or is this something totally different from the tree that fell? Any thoughts or ideas would be most helpful.I live in Appanoose co, but we have a lake home at Unionville, MO, and this is where the large oak trees are.

Putnam County Missouri

1 Response

Good afternoon!My apology for the delayed reply. Have been in the field with students.The tree that toppled was suffering from what we call incipient decay. Basically, decay that you cannot detect until the tree's weight is more than the rotting wood can support. I suspect that the tree in question is a red oak, or at least belongs to this sub-group of oaks. It's quite common as these oaks only live to be about 70 or 90 years old.As for the other tree oozing the clear sap, do you know what kind of tree it is? Another oak? Or perhaps an elm? Hard to make a call on this without some more information. But, with our exceptionally wet weather of late, a lot of trees are discharging sap, especially if there is any sort of open wound. Not too much to worry about here. The insects you observed are merely feeding on the nutrient-rich sap. They are not maggots, but other critters that again without a picture it is hard to say what specific critter.I hope you found this information helpful.