Dying Oak trees

Asked September 17, 2019, 12:58 PM EDT

This oak tree looked like this within 2 weeks. There are four other oaks around it that look fine, however in our neighborhood 12 other oaks look like this one. Is this sudden oak death or are we dealing with something else? In Pasadena, MD we had maybe an inch of rain within the last 3 months. Should it be cut down now, or wait until spring to see if it comes back.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

Oaks are dying all over the region -- and we've had many reports of dying Chestnut oaks, in particular, over the last several years. No insect or disease has been found to be the cause, so that means it is probably related to environment/climate/weather. Multiple years of drought and heatwaves may be contributing to the problem.

Here is an article about the factors that contribute to 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. Wait until next spring to see if any of the trees put out any new growth. If they do not, then they are finished. If you have specimen trees close to your home, you could have them evaluated by a certified arborist to see what your options are. You can find a certified arborist using this website from the International Society of Arboriculture, http://www.treesaregood.org/.