Oak Trees Damage/Disease?

Asked July 31, 2015, 2:04 PM EDT

In the forest surrounding my home in McConnellsburg, several mature oak trees have a problem on their bark that I have never seen before. The damage starts at ground level and continues 50 to 70 feet nearly to the top. These oaks appear to be dying, while the surrounding oaks appear healthy. I can't tell whether the damage is due to wildlife or disease. Can you identify the cause from the 3 attached photos?

Fulton County Pennsylvania emerald ash borer lrk

1 Response

My guess is that the tree is an ash not an oak. The tree was killed by Emerald Ash Borer and the damage you see is the result of woodpeckers removing the tree bark looking for the borers to eat. For more information on Emerald Ash Borer, check out the following link.
http://ento.psu.edu/extension/trees-shrubs/emerald-ash-borer/factsheets