I have a young red oak tree that had some holes in the base and was wondering...

Asked May 15, 2015, 2:38 PM EDT

I have a young red oak tree that had some holes in the base and was wondering if you could help me figure out what they are from. I pulled tall grass from the base of the trunk and found the holes. I also noticed some of the leaves are really tiny but they are on a new branch that's coming out.

Fillmore County Minnesota

3 Responses

We really need more information. Can you sent a photo?

Sorry I thought I attached one in the original oops

The one closest to the ground looks like critters have chewed the bark off. It could be voles or rabbits. Voles will nest in grass around a tree and both will take advantage of young bark during the winter. The trunk also looks as though there has been sunscald. That is when the bark heats up and expands on a sunny day in the winter and then shrinks quickly when the evening cold sets in. The holes around and above that damage could be critters or borers or some other type of damage. I am concerned about the health of your tree. There is no way to repair the damage. All you can do is give your tree TLC, remove the grass from around it and put in some mulch (pulled away from the trunk several inches) and protect the bark in the winter. This publication should be helpful with that: http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/landscaping/maint/trees.html#4e