bottom of oak turning black

guynvb(zone 8)July 13, 2011

We have a tall oak tree that I am worried about. While the leaves and such look ok, the bottom of the tree is turning black. Butterflies are landing on it I assume sucking up the sap and such and hornets seem to be making homes inside cavities in the bark. Some of the bark is loosening up and I fear the tree is dying. Any advise if great appreciated as I am very concerned. (I can take pictures if that would be helpful).

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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Pix

Dan

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 3:43PM
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guynvb(zone 8)

can you advise how to attach pics to a posting?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:03PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

look for aphids while you are at it.. ont he leaves or new tender growth ..

and also look for .. ants .. as they tend to herd the aphids for the honeydew..

which turns black as it rots ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:03PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

1. Upload Picture

One of the easiest ways to provide your photo to be embedded into a post is to upload it onto an image hosting site such as Photobucket, Flickr, etc. That should be pretty straight forward, and the individual sites will give instructions on how to get your photos uploaded to their site when you sign up.

2. Find URL

Once your picture has been uploaded, find its image location address (URL) by right clicking on the image and copying the image location. The URL will look something like:

http://somepicturesite.com/yourpicture.jpg.

Some sites may even provide the appropriate HTML code in a text box below the photo for your convenience. It will be the one that begins with a href=... (This code looks different than the code below, because it will actually produce a picture link instead of just a picture.)

3. Add HTML code to post

Let's say, as an example, that the address of the picture you want to post is http://somepicturesite.com/yourpicture.jpg

To embed the picture into a post, use the command:
img src="http://somepicturesite.com/yourpicture.jpg";>
_____________________________________

If your picture is too large to fit nicely into the text page, you can add a width attribute.

The command with the width attribute would look something like:
img src="http://somepicturesite.com/yourpicture.jpg"; width=600>
_____________________________________

Another option is to use a text link which might be beneficial to people on slow connections.

To do this, use the command:
a href="http://somepicturesite.com/yourpicture.jpg";>your text goes here/a>
_____________________________________

Note that I had to use special characters to get the commands above to show up here without turning into pictures, but you can use them as shown (but with the correct image web address).

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:21PM
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guynvb(zone 8)

I will try posting the links here to the pics:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/guynvb/IMG_1273.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/guynvb/IMG_1276.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/guynvb/IMG_1275.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/guynvb/IMG_1274.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v428/guynvb/IMG_1277.jpg

The tree damage is darker than it appears in the pics as there is a glare. I do see ants and probably aphids. They are making holes in the tree. We have some Terra powder that kills ants and I'm wondering if might be a good idea to sprinkle it on and around the tree.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:32PM
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guynvb(zone 8)

Thanks for the info on posting pics, Brandon.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 4:40PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Looks like butt rot and some opportunistic insect taking advantage of decay-decline from here.

I wonder if it was weakened in the land clearing process, change in water regime and stress of now being open-grown. If the symptoms are the same around more than .5 of the circumference, you may want to start making plans for removal and replacement.

Nonetheless, distance diagnosis isn't going to work absolutely with this, as a certified arborist with a Shigometer or device to find decay (old-timers with a mallet sometimes are fine too) will do a better job than a simple visual, but you're looking at at least a motorcycle payment to come out and poke around.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 6:11PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

butt rot ??? .... sounds like what the kids got .. when i didnt change their diapers often enough ... lol

was the lawn??? created by heavy equipment when the house was built???

i agree a local expert is needed.. but its dying.. and i doubt that there is any cost efficient treatment ..

how long it takes to die.. what.. a decade or two.. or a few years.. unknown ...

but i am not a tree professional .... and would defer..

probably been dying since the bulldozer cleared the land.. how long ago was that ...

ken

    Bookmark   July 13, 2011 at 8:44PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Dan,
When's the last time you saw an arborist use a shigometer? And, do they still make vacuum tubes for those things?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:11AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Nice Red-Spotted Purple (aka White Admiral) butterfly!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:19AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

brandon, whatever its called. Resistometer thingy.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:26AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Should be seen on site by a Certified Arborist qualified to evaluate potentially hazardous trees.

What might it land on if it goes over unannounced?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 12:59AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to add drama to what jean said:

will it kill you in your sleep if and when it falls down.. is the house in danger??? [or the neighbors, even if you dont like them.. lol]

ken

    Bookmark   July 14, 2011 at 9:22AM
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guynvb(zone 8)

Well looks like my last post is not here now. Weird but anyway.. Well, the house and land was cleared in 2002 so has been a few years now. Luckily, the tree is located on the side yard and is growing on the edge of a deep ravine so we should be ok. We will monitor it closely and if it dies we will chop it down before it has a chance to fall on us! Thanks for all your suggestions!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 10:08PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

Chances are higher that a tree will fall into an opening. One of my undergrad profs wrote that finding up while doing something else.

Dan

    Bookmark   July 18, 2011 at 11:02PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

still no reply to the grading question ...

though 8 or 9 years seems like a long time to us.. in the tree world.. where an oak can live a century or two ... that is not so long..

was the area graded to make a clearing for the lawn and the house???

ken

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 11:53AM
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dricha

You could poke around with a nail(and hammer) to find any build up of sap to help let it drain away. Keep the area clean and dry. Angle your holes so they drain downward.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2011 at 5:58PM
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