About oak tree diseases
An oak is a tree that has spiral arranged leaves with a lobed margin. Some oak trees have serrated leaves with a smooth margin. An oak tree has great strength and hardness and is also resistant to insects and fungal attack due its high tannin content. Oak is used for furniture making and flooring, timber frame buildings and veneer production. Just like other trees and plants, the oak tree is prone to various diseases and infections that can be fatal if not treated on time. Some of the oak tree diseases spread very fast and are capable of wiping out a whole plantation of preventive measures are not incorporated.
Types of oak tree diseases
Anthracnose: refers to a group of oak tree diseases that are caused by closely related fungi. It mostly affects the white oak. It is characterized by scattered brown spots or sometimes large light brown blotches from along the veins and the leaves tend to look scorched.
Oak wilt: this is a fungal infection that affects the oak trees. All the species of oak are susceptible to this oak tree disease with the red oak being more vulnerable. Red oak trees that are affected by this disease often die in less than a month's time. There is no cure for oak wilt disease yet. The best way to prevent it is by isolating and destroying all the infected trees.
Oak tatters: it affects the growing oak leaves and makes them to appear lacy and tattered.
Powdery mildew: it is a fungal disease that is common among the oak trees. It makes the affected tree more susceptible to other oak tree diseases and infections. It is characterized by light green to yellow spots, white patches that develop peppered. It attacks when the weather is highly humid and cool.
Wet-wood: also known as slime flux. It is caused by bacteria and affects the central core or bark of the oak trees.
Symptoms of oak tree diseases
Most oak tree diseases can weaken the trees and lead to death if not identified early for treatment. Some of the main symptoms of oak tree diseases that an oak tree farm owner needs to watch out for include;
spotted and discolored foliage
dying foliage and branches
wet patches an trunk
yellow or green spots
the tree look like it has been dusted with flour
bleeding or oozing from branch crotches
foul smelling ooze
How to prevent oak tree diseases
- Plant the oak trees in non shaded areas
- Space the trees to provide enough room for growth and aeration
- Prune and thin out branches to reduce the chances of infections
- Provide enough moisture through watering in the morning and afternoon to inhibit and the spores
- Prevent damage of the tree stem to avoid bacterial and fungal infections
- Sustain the trees good health through organic based macro and micro-nutrients feeding
- Use bio-stimulant fertilizer on newly planted oak as it promotes root growth and stress tolerance
- Prune young oak trees to enhance the development of a strong central leader and promote healthy growth and structural integrity