trees dying on Admiral Cochran Drive, Annapolism MD

Asked September 18, 2019, 1:49 PM EDT

Please let me know why many very large oaks, maples and others have died and continue to die. If it is a contageous decease, our community is close by.

Maryland trees

1 Response

Hi - Many trees are showing signs of root stress due to the drought we are in now. This follows last year's excessive wet weather, which caused root problems for many plants that are intolerant of saturated soils. We have had many inquiries about problems with oaks in particular. There is no one cause. For such a situation to occur over many species of trees and a wide area, it is probably an environmental problem-- multiple years of drought and higher summer temperatures are a possibility. Root stress can lead to early fall coloration, browning, and leaf drop. When trees are stressed by unfavorable environmental conditions, they become more susceptible to disease and pest issues as well -- ambrosia beetles and borers are attracted to stressed trees.

Here is an article about why some oaks are declining.

Also, take a look at this publication about oak decline.

There isn't really much you can do to "reverse" decline in mature trees, unfortunately. Wait until next spring to see if the trees put out new growth. If they do not, they are finished. You could consult with a certified arborist if you would like to have any trees evaluated and tested. You can find an arborist near you using this website from the International Society of Arboriculture.