Pin Oak in Distress

Asked May 25, 2018, 4:00 PM EDT

I am visiting my mom this week and was walking around her property when I noticed a pin oak that seems to be dying. The leaves remaining on the tree look like something is eating them, although I didn't see anything on them. There are quite a few dead limbs already on this tree. There is a smaller pin oak about 20 feet away that show some signs of the same thing, but it still looks healthy. We're ok with cutting the tree down, but need to know if that will solve the problem.
My concern is for the remaining 40 acres of woods on my mom's property.

Saginaw County Michigan

1 Response


Several insects can cause the feeding damage you see- the missing leaf parts. June beetle, cankerworm Paleacrita vernata, or a forest tent caterpillar. There are pictures of these here-

The leaf with a small tan spot could be many things. If you have many leaves with lots of tan or other discoloration on them, that could be anthracnose, blight, insects, or oak wilt. See pictures here-

Most of these issues are not life threatening and need no action, except for oak wilt. Oak wilt is confirmed by a certified arborist visiting the site, collecting samples and testing them in a lab.

To find certified arborists in your zip code area—

If you can send me a picture of the whole tree, and more pictures of browning leaves it may tell me more.

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