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Oak Tree disease or insects?

WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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Hello folks,

I have a cottage in southern Wisconsin. We have three mature oaks in the back yard. Earlier in the summer, I noticed very small amounts of very fine sawdust in several areas around the base of each tree. The areas were probably between 2-4 feet off of the ground. I have seen the damage of carpenter bees at my other house, this was a much smaller amount of sawdust material at each area, and the 1/4 inch hole was not apparent, as I have seen with bees in other wooden structure (not living trees) at our other home. If I look at the part of the tree now that appears wet, it is difficult to tell, but it does somewhat appear that there is a small insect hole above each area.

The trees are probably an average of 4 feet around. Two are I believe white oaks and one is a black oak.

I noticed the sawdust but didn't really know what caused it, and went about my business. Now I notice there are several areas around the trees that appear to be black and are leaking a seemingly clear fluid. I do not know for certain that the areas correspond with the areas where I saw the small amounts of sawdust, but I theorize that it certainly may.

I am curious if anyone knows what type of insect may do this to otherwise healthy oak trees? There does not appear to be any leaf damage or any other deformities that my amateur eyes can see.

Help!

Thank you so much in advance!
 
WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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The above photos are of two different trees. I have been told one is a white oak and one is a black oak.

The top two are of the same tree (black oak?) and the bottom two are of a different tree. (white oak?)
 
Jed1124

Jed1124

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The black is sooty mold growing on wet wood. Just judging by the bark you have a White Oak and Chestnut Oak. They seem pretty close to the house judging by the picture of the base of the one tree. Grade changes and root damage due to construction are probable.
 
WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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The black is sooty mold growing on wet wood. Just judging by the bark you have a White Oak and Chestnut Oak. They seem pretty close to the house judging by the picture of the base of the one tree. Grade changes and root damage due to construction are probable.
Thank you for your reply.

So, what will happen? What about the frass I saw and the small holes above the part where they leak?

The part you see that looks like a house is a fence that was installed two years ago? Did they possibly do damage to the tree roots when installing the fence?

Most importantly, what is the long term prognosis?

I am trying to get an arborist out here, but it seems that I haven't found the right one yet, because none are returning my calls!
 
Jed1124

Jed1124

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Thank you for your reply.

So, what will happen? What about the frass I saw and the small holes above the part where they leak?

The part you see that looks like a house is a fence that was installed two years ago? Did they possibly do damage to the tree roots when installing the fence?

Most importantly, what is the long term prognosis?

I am trying to get an arborist out here, but it seems that I haven't found the right one yet, because none are returning my calls!
It's really hard to answer any of these questions without seeing the tree in person. I think you are taking the right route by having an aborist come out. If you continue to have trouble finding one there is a list of certified aborists on the ISA website.

Root damage could have happened with the installation of the fence especially if any trenching took place.

I could be wrong but I don't think there is a correlation between the frass and the sooty mold you are seeing on the tree. Bacterial wet wood or slime flux is caused by fermenting within the tree which is generally associated with some sort of decay. That being said it is certainly not a indicator that the tree is in decline or needs to be removed.
 
WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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Well I hope mine don't have what yours had. I keep reading that a lot of things look like some really bad things but that maybe they aren't so bad after all.

We will see I guess.
 
WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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I have an arborist coming on October 4th. It is the soonest I can get someone who appears to be qualified and has vast experience in the region. Hopefully it is something that can be treated.

If I caused this by having a fence installed for our dogs, I will forever be angry at myself. I had no idea!
 
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WISCONSINLAKE

WISCONSINLAKE

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ATH

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Is this something that can be treated? I have looked online and there seems to be a wide ranging bunch of opinions on this. Can this be spread by an insect borer? There are a few other trees that appear to have the same kind of thing going on in some neighboring yards, like two or three houses down.
I'd certainly try Reliant (fungicide) in pentra-bark to give it a shot. It is pretty inexpensive.
 
Jackbnimble

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The piece the link leads to suggests phosphorous depending on the exact nature of the source of bleeding.
 
Jason Douglas

Jason Douglas

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It's really hard to answer any of these questions without seeing the tree in person. I think you are taking the right route by having an aborist come out. If you continue to have trouble finding one there is a list of certified aborists on the ISA website.

Root damage could have happened with the installation of the fence especially if any trenching took place.

I could be wrong but I don't think there is a correlation between the frass and the sooty mold you are seeing on the tree. Bacterial wet wood or slime flux is caused by fermenting within the tree which is generally associated with some sort of decay. That being said it is certainly not a indicator that the tree is in decline or needs to be removed.
I've seen two lined chestnut borer damage leak before. Possible I suppose in this case
 
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