We live in Crofton Maryland with a red oak and our backyard which is one of the largest in Crofton. Some have put its age at around 200 years old. We're beginning to worry about its health and lost a another Red Oak in the front yard to disease last year. Is there someone who could come to examine the tree and determined it's health and recommend if there's anything we can do preventatively? Thank you, Chris
Oak trees are in decline all over the region, unfortunately. There is no single cause. For such a situation to occur over many species of oaks and a wide area, it is probably an environmental problem-- multiple years of drought and higher summer temperatures are a possibility. Gypsy moth damage in past years could be another factor. When trees are stressed by unfavorable environmental conditions, they become more susceptible to pest and disease issues.
Some oaks are declining due to bacterial leaf scorch. Oak wilt is not active in Maryland generally. Here is more about these diseases: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/why-oak-trees-are-declining
Take a look at this publication about oak decline. https://extension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/SP675.pdf
There isn't really much you can do to reverse decline in mature oak trees, unfortunately. Our recommendation is to consult with a certified arborist if you would like to have the tree evaluated. A certified arborist has the tools to test for pests and diseases and can check the structural integrity of the tree. You can find an arborist near you using this website from the International Society of Arboriculture. http://www.treesaregood.org/