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Plant Diseases/burr oak problem


bur oak
bur oak  
QUESTION: I have a young burr oak that has developed a wound and is seemingly leaking.  Is this a problem?  Do I need to remove the tree and replace it?  Can I help the tree?  Thanks, Jason

ANSWER: Jason:
From your photo, it appears as if the tree has formed callus tissue around this area.  This indicates that the tree has healed to some extent.  The "bleeding" can be caused by a fungus or bacteria infection (see bacterial wetwood on the internet).  A tree can live a long time with bacterial wetwood, however this lesion may invite insects and other microorganisms to set up housekeeping.  This will in turn weaken the tree from a structural standpoint.  Trees with this condition can breakover during a wind or ice event.  Longterm problems may exist eventually due to this.  Replacement should be considered.


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QUESTION: Thanks Steve....  As young as this tree is, can I take it out and plant another in this location?  Jason

Yes, by all means.  Be sure to look your "prospective" tree over closely at the nursery.  Look for any wounds or defects.  If your are unsure, ask your nursery professional.  Also be sure it is planted correctly (lots of info on the internet and of course the nursery can guide you also.  Transplanting a tree can be a stressful situation to a tree.  Mulching is also useful as well (no more than 3" deep!).  Avoid those mulch "volcanoes" that we see everywhere. Mulching keeps those lawnmowers and string trimmers away from the trunk.  These yard tools can be a death sentence..


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Dr Stephen Vann


Plant Diseases and Disorders of Lawn Grasses, Trees, Vegetables,and Ornamentals


Plant Diseases Identification and Management

B.S. Botany --- Miss. State Univ. M.S. Plant Pathology --- Miss. State Univ. Ph.D. Plant Pathology --- Texas A & M Univ.

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