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What is wrong with my young oaks?

cqlove

cqlove

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Beach City, Texas
The smaller oak is a willow oak that looks like it didn’t survive the winter freeze. The bigger one is a water oak. It has growth on the lower half but the top looks bad. Any ideas on trimming or ways to help them grow? I am close to Houston, Texas btw. A3DA3907-B910-4C3B-B6F7-69F5F0AA054A.jpeg 779E6ABF-BCD4-4EFD-A000-C5A84E28F080.jpeg
 
TheJollyLogger

TheJollyLogger

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The smaller oak is a willow oak that looks like it didn’t survive the winter freeze. The bigger one is a water oak. It has growth on the lower half but the top looks bad. Any ideas on trimming or ways to help them grow? I am close to Houston, Texas btw. View attachment 899494 View attachment 899495
They are covered in ball moss, for one, they have no leaders at this point.... sorry, but remove and replace with better specimens... and keep a better eye on them... that ball moss did not happen overnight
 
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cqlove

cqlove

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They are covered in ball moss, for one, they have no leaders at this point.... sorry, but remove and replace with better specimens... and keep a better eye on them... that ball moss did not happen overnight
I didn’t know moss was bad for trees? What does the moss do to them? I have some big live oaks with it and they seem fine.
 
TheJollyLogger

TheJollyLogger

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I didn’t know moss was bad for trees? What does the moss do to them? I have some big live oaks with it and they seem fine.
It is a mild parasite...obviously it is stealing resources from the tree. On a large mature tree, it is not usually a huge problem... on these young trees, a different story, although judging from the pictures they have had a hard life. No leaders, horrible growth pattern, etc. The chances of them turning into a valuable tree at this point is honestly zero, I hate to say.
 
cqlove

cqlove

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It is a mild parasite...obviously it is stealing resources from the tree. On a large mature tree, it is not usually a huge problem... on these young trees, a different story, although judging from the pictures they have had a hard life. No leaders, horrible growth pattern, etc. The chances of them turning into a valuable tree at this point is honestly zero, I hate to say.
Alright. I will be taking them down then. Thanks for the info.
 
TheJollyLogger

TheJollyLogger

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news... on a brighter note, kudos to you for planting multiple species on your property and spacing them far enough apart to give them all a chance to spread and mature... good urban forestry practices...
 
cqlove

cqlove

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Moss is not a parasite, not even a mild one.

Looks like possible herbicide damage or root zone damage.

How do the trees looks at ground level?

Showing any signs of weed eater damage?
There are fire ant mounds at the base of the trees. They might have been planted a little low?
 

Del_

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There are fire ant mounds at the base of the trees. They might have been planted a little low?

I'm not sure if the fire ants indicate that they were planted to deeply but deep planting is a serious concern.

How long ago were they planted? And just how deeply?

I've seen tree suffering from transplant shock that look a lot like your.

The tips of the tree branches generate auxins that suppress latent or dormant buds that are everywhere on the tree. When the tree is under stress the tips are shut down from receiving resources and the resources are diverted to these latent or dormant buds. It's a survival mechanism.

The good news is that over the next several years the trees may once again grow a new canopy as parts of the dead canopy are shed.
 
cqlove

cqlove

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I'm not sure if the fire ants indicate that they were planted to deeply but deep planting is a serious concern.

How long ago were they planted? And just how deeply?

I've seen tree suffering from transplant shock that look a lot like your.

The tips of the tree branches generate auxins that suppress latent or dormant buds that are everywhere on the tree. When the tree is under stress the tips are shut down from receiving resources and the resources are diverted to these latent or dormant buds. It's a survival mechanism.

The good news is that over the next several years the trees may once again grow a new canopy as parts of the dead canopy are shed.
Ok good to know! Should I trim the dead tops off?
 
capetrees

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The smaller oak is a willow oak that looks like it didn’t survive the winter freeze. The bigger one is a water oak. It has growth on the lower half but the top looks bad. Any ideas on trimming or ways to help them grow? I am close to Houston, Texas btw. View attachment 899494 View attachment 899495
2 cents

The growth is lichen and can be removed with a copper sulfate spray application if you don't like the looks of it. Its not harmful to the tree. It just happens to grow on dead or dying material, in this case, the upper branches that have been damaged. Spray the tree and then remove the dead material (prune). Expose the base by removing the soil down to the first roots , out maybe a foot radius at first.

They're alive and can come back. They just need some help. Shaping them depends on your pruning.

:cheers:
 
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