Pin oak and dead branches

Asked April 24, 2019, 11:49 AM EDT

Hi, we have a pin oak that is about 25 years old. There are a lot of branches that are dead. It is about 70 feet tall or more. It would be far to say 1/4 of it is not produced at this point, the rest has leaves emerging. Some of the branches are rather high, not just on the bottom. We have also noticed over the past couple of years that the leaves turn brown faster than others in the area. And that they fall off in the fall now opposed to late in the winter.

New Castle County Delaware

1 Response


Pin oak and other oak trees in the red oak family are susceptible to bacterial leaf scorch. The tree disease is common in our area, and is caused by a small bacteria transmitted by a small insect called a leafhopper. Your tree probably has had bacterial leaf scorch for several years if you are having branch dieback. Leaves turn brown in August, with brown edges. There is no cure for this bacterial disease. You can have an arborist or tree service prune the tree. However, it may be time to plant a young tree nearby, with the thought of taking that oak down in a year or two.

Thank you for contacting Cooperative Extension,