Declining chestnut oak

Asked May 21, 2019, 5:22 PM EDT

We live in a community in Catonsville where chestnut oaks have been declining and dying over the past few years. Our chestnut oak has looked very healthy and full until this spring. This year, leaves are not maturing and the smallest leaves are browning, beginning at the tips and then falling off. The larger leaves are staying green and remain on the tree, though they are not as large as usual. We don’t notice anything wrong with the bark of the tree. Do you have any ideas of what is wrong with our tree? Please see attached pictures.

Baltimore County Maryland chestnut oak dieback tree

1 Response

We cannot say for sure what is going on with your chestnut oak. We have observed and are aware of the chestnut oak problem, but so far research has not pointed to any culprit. It seems to be environmental, possibly weather extremes, such as droughts followed by abnormally high rainfall years. Unfortunately, there are not many specific recommendations on what to do about this.

We recommend that you contact a certified arborist for a site visit regarding the health of your tree and more information.