Disease on Pinoak

Asked April 25, 2016, 8:44 AM EDT

Good morning, I have a young Pin Oak with about a 6 inch caliber. I notice it is developing some kind of scale or fungus on the top of its trunk. The very top of the tree has died over the winter and I would like advice on what to do with this problem. I can provide a picture of the fungus if needed

Chester County Pennsylvania

6 Responses

If you can supply a photo, that would be great. How long has it been at this site? How did it look last year? Any other trees showing the same symptoms?

The tree was moved there 3 years ago. I didn't notice anything last year on the bark and it didn't have any die off. Haven't seen any other trees in my property with this condition, but I have 14 acres of trees so there could be.
I will try and get a picture this afternoon for you.


i went up on a lift and realized what I thought was an orange fungus is actually bark damage from what looks like an animal. I am assuming that they are after something in the bark. Please tell me your recondition once you see the pictures. Thanks, Mark

It looks like woodpeckers have been working the tree. They go after insect larvae. It is possible twolined chestnut borer attacked the tree. I am thinking that after the move, the tree gave off chemical signals that it was stressed and the beetles went after it. I would try to do as much as possible to provide the best growing environment. Mulch 2-3 inch depth at least out to the dripline of the tree. Though this is after the fact, check and make sure the tree isn't planted too deep. The root flare should be visible, not buried.

Tim, thanks for the response. The ball and mulch are as you suggested.
Mat this point I will remove the deadwood, but is there anything I should apply to the pecker damage and can I kill the borer to keep the tree from future damage?

Borers are hard to manage. If the borer is the twolined chestnut borer, you could do a soil drench with the active ingredient imidacloprid for the larvae. If you cut out part of the tree, look right under the bark for "s" shaped feeding tunnels. That is the damage that twolined chestnut causes.

Providing the best growing environment is the best way to help the tree.