what is killing oak trees?

Asked April 20, 2016, 4:00 PM EDT

I have been told that there is something, fungus, pest, blight, etc. that is killing off oak trees in Maryland. My neighbor, living in Arnold, had two large oaks taken down because they died. They said that they had them sprayed, but it was too late. Another friend said that he looses one or two a year and that AA County used to spray but no longer do because of lack of budget. Before I embark in what is to be a costly endeavor can you help identify the problem and offer suggestions on how to proceed. I know that this not a lot to go on but it is all that I have. Thanks you in advance for your time in considering this matter.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

You may be referring to bacterial leaf scorch, will kill an oak, though it takes 10 to 12 years to do so. Most dying oaks, (and we have had reports of chestnut oaks dying, in particular) is due to drought or increasing temperatures in Maryland. Naturally, as a tree grows bigger and bigger over the years, its need for water increases. If it's location cannot support the continued growth, it will die.

We do not recommend that you treat your trees in any way. If you see signs of disease, let us know and send photos with your question.

Here is info on Bacterial leaf scorch, in case you are interested: http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/bacterial-leaf-scorch-trees