Oak tree appears to be dying

Asked January 6, 2017, 10:55 AM EST

I have a very old oak tree in my back yard. My yard backs up to a strip of what looks like leftover woods that must belong to the state or county. It is a little northeast of Sligo Creek, about 1 mile from downtown Silver Spring. The tree in my back yard seems to be part of this remnant. During some past years, large. spongy fungal growths tended to appear on the tree's trunk near the base. I removed these growths (although not always immediately). Now the tree seems to be losing most of its branches (all quite high up) on one side. The branches that fall often seem rotted and/or full of fungus. A number of the trees in the woody strip behind my back yard also seem to have been dying, and some months ago the county sent in workmen to remove them. Do you think my tree is dying as well? Is it the fungus that killed it, or some other factor? Is there anything I can do about it?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

There could be several reasons for branch dieback and decline such as drought, poor soil drainage, changes in soil grade, mechanical damage to trunk, etc. See our publication on these types of problems.http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG86%20Common%20Abio.. . When stressed by the above, the tree can be susceptible to possible insect and disease issues.
We recommend that you contact several certified arborists for an onsite diagnosis regarding the health of your tree and the best way to proceed. http://www.treesaregood.org/