Hope for the Oak Tree?

Asked June 2, 2020, 1:05 PM EDT

Some background. It's been there at least twenty seven years. English Ivy started growing up it and nearly covered it. Two years ago I cut the source and it died and most of the vines fell to the ground. For many years though I have seen leaves dying & lay wilted and eventually falling to the ground along with branches from the tree. Question: Was the ivy the source of the demise of this tree or is it diseased? Is there any hope of this tree surviving or is it eventually gonna die and fall over.

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

We viewed your photos. We are not sure why the leaves are wilting in the left photo. It is not unusual for oaks to have some cankers on the branches and this may be a factor. https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/cankers-trees-and-shrubs
Also, The foliage looks like it is exhibiting symptoms of oak leaf blister, a fungal disease. It was good that you removed the ivy from the tree but it did not cause the above symptoms.

Oak leaf blister is caused by a fungus, Taphrina caerulescens affecting many species of oaks. Members of the red oak group are particularly susceptible to infection. Disease development is favored by cool, wet springs and, in years when such conditions occur, noticeable leaf deformity results. This does not endanger the tree health and no control is necessary. Rake all fallen leaves and discard in the trash. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/hortanswers/detailProblem.cfm?PathogenID=34
https://extension.umaine.edu/ipm/ipddl/plant-disease-images/oak-taphrina/

The oak looks like it needs some pruning of dead wood.
We suggest you contact a certified arborist for an onsite diagnosis regarding the health of the tree and pruning dead wood. Here is how to find a certified arborist http://www.treesaregood.org/

Marian