Oaks in Distress

February saw some of the coldest temperatures in decades in many parts of our state. And they came as trees were gearing up to start growing.

Nurserymen, arborists, foresters, Extension horticulturists and garden communicators have been fielding questions ever since about why some oaks are behaving so strangely – appearing to be dead or leafing out one branch at a time.

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A group of us visited and we decided to turn to the experts – the folks from the Texas A&M Forest Service. We figured who better could explain what happened, what we might expect in the next few weeks or months, and what we should, or should not, be doing in an effort to help our trees.

Here is the information they released just yesterday. (Be sure to click to the link as well.)

Texas A&M Forest Service
May 5, 2021

Driving across Texas these past few weeks, you might’ve noticed a significant number of oak trees that have only partial foliage, if any at all, as a result of the winter storm that swept across the state in mid-February.

This delay in the “leafing-out” process for some oak trees has stumped experts and professionals across the state – primarily because there doesn’t seem to be any obvious, identifiable trend. The phenomenon is affecting all species of oak, from Monterrey oaks to post oaks, and Shumard red oaks. Even live oaks – a species known for their sturdiness and resilience – have been incredibly late to grow new buds.

Fortunately, Neil Sperry – a household name in Texas gardening and horticulture – initiated the organization of a blue-ribbon panel of certified arborists, foresters, horticulturists, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialists, nursery leaders and garden communicators to send out a unified message. Their advice to landowners who are wondering what they should do, and whether they should cut down their valuable trees, is a simple one: WAIT.

For more information about why this is happening, or to help explain the “what and how” of this bizarre occurrence, make sure you read the full article on our website at: https://bit.ly/3xOqMR5

Posted by Neil Sperry
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