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oak tree experience

Posted by arthurd z7 ok (My Page) on
Sat, Nov 30, 13 at 15:24

Removed a 55 year old pin oak yesterday. We received six pin oaks as a wedding present. This one was pretty rotten and about thirty five feet tall. When trees were young a neighbor sprayed their lawn for weeds. Wind drift caused malformed limbs on the pin oaks, but they lived.
My strong advice: Don't plant pin oaks. Red oaks and burr oaks are so much better. Black oak, post oak and white oak are okay. Pin oaks are lovely as a very young tree but many problems when they are bigger.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: oak tree experience

Sorry for your loss of such a long tended and sentimental tree.

Other red oaks doing well and pin oaks (pin oaks are in the red oak group) doing poorly is a hint your soil may be somewhat alkaline. This is why there are many Texas red/Shumards and few pin oaks in our part of north central Texas. May explain why they have not done well for you, but thrive in acidic soil areas such as east Texas.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pinpointing the Problem with Pin Oak

RE: oak tree experience

Agree with bostedo. A 55 year old Pin Oak should be much taller than 35 feet. My parents' Pin Oak of similar age is near 100 feet. Of course, that's the difference between well watered and acidic soiled New Jersey, and dry, alkaline Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, their tree now has a pretty bad case of bacterial leaf scorch and will need to be taken down in a few years, but these things happen.

RE: oak tree experience

  • Posted by beng z6 western MD (My Page) on
    Sun, Dec 1, 13 at 9:44

Right, famartin, pin oak my buddy planted ~1973 is now 75 ft tall.

There are always bad examples of every species. I see plenty of large, healthy pin oaks around here. There are some very large ones along the C&O canal near Cumberland, MD.

RE: oak tree experience

When trees were young a neighbor sprayed their lawn for weeds. Wind drift caused malformed limbs on the pin oaks, but they lived.

==>>> i doubt this history .... how bad a spraying job would it have to be.. to coat a TREE!! ... significantly enough to harm it????

btw.. who ID'd it??? ...

i have about 10 different oak types ... no real opinion on pin.. other than it is an oak..

and better than.. oh crikey.. the list.. maple.. willow.. mulberry... boxelder ... you name it.. oak rule supreme... and even a pin.. is better than a sharp twig in the eye ....

why do you mention the wedding gift oak .. was there a question about such ????


RE: oak tree experience

Probably sentimental value, Ken... having to destroy a wedding present.

RE: oak tree experience

Methinks ken needs to get out more often...and should think twice about disparaging someone who has lived a lifetime with their trees.

It doesn't take much breeze to disperse a fine spray over a long distance. There are myriad examples of this kind of careless application of pesticides/herbicides, and if one doesn't believe it is possible, then one may be guilty of (maybe unknowingly) doing exactly the same.

Many herbicides are quite volatile. It has been many years since I've performed that level of landscape management, but I've observed the effects of broadleaf weed herbicides on trees such as Redbud - causes distinct cupping of the foliage - without spray drift even being involved, simply the volatilizing of a component of the applied herbicide. 2,4-D comes to mind as the possible culprit.

I can't count how any times I've observed the damage caused by spray drift of nonselective herbicides applied to the mulch rings around trees, where it has blown onto the bark of the tree supposedly being tended to, as well as onto the surrounding turf. You can always tell which way the wind was trending afterward...

Finally, I am aware of a nurseryman who suffered tremendous loss - including a several years closure of his business - due to careless applications of herbicides on an adjoining agribusiness farm. Spray drift from a professional application is certainly possible; imagine how often it occurs - whether you know it, or believe it - in the home landscape by those who just pick up a chemical off the shelf and take it home.

And who believe if a little is good...twice as much is BETTER.

RE: oak tree experience

Is it me, or are pin oaks more susceptible to bacterial leaf scorch than most other oaks?

RE: oak tree experience

i thought he just got married.. got a gift of babes.. bought a new house.. and had to pay to have an old decaying one removed ... and was in a quandary as what to do with the babes ... and that the history of damage.. was the old neighbors talking ...

i spray year old oaks with round up ... and they refuse to die ... whats that all about ...

and where is the history of 2-4d usage???? ... you are also just guessing ....

whatever ... that is why its called a conversation ....

its hard reading in between the lines as to what happened 35 years ago ... we all make presumptions ... as to the history provided ... who knows what the heck happened ...

but i still would plant ANY oak over most other carp trees ... as i like to garden under trees ...


RE: oak tree experience

joeschmoe, it seems that way, but I haven't seen any studies on it.

RE: oak tree experience

Well, arthurd can explain better for himself, but as I read it, it was pretty clear.

He recently removed an approximately 55 year old Pin Oak, a tree received as a gift when he was married (one of six).

It seems these same wedding present trees were damaged by herbicide drift from a neighbor's lawn care activities, presumably 40-50 years ago (when trees were young), but survived though did not perform as one might have expected from such a tree.

"Just guessing" (as you sublimely put it) as to commonly used herbicides from the 1960s and 1970s would suggest chemicals like 2,4-D were the kind that were available and might be misapplied by gardeners who weren't very careful.

While not defining that any one of them was the causal agent in this case, I mentioned a variety of instances and herbicides that demonstrated how bad a spraying job could be AND which could easily damage a tree.

As to your application techniques - yes, what is up with that? Seems like nonsense, but I guess you have your reasons.

I would think that arthurd has had a less than stellar experience with his Quercus palustris, but then there are plenty of folks who have had poor experiences with lots of species - including carp trees.

I personally have many oak species growing here at the Valley, and use many more in my professional work in a municipal park system - where Pin Oaks over 100 years old are not uncommon. I believe planting these kinds of trees where they are most likely to thrive and where they will be of least detriment to their surroundings is a practical approach to use of the genus Quercus.

One person's ability to garden under trees doesn't necessarily extrapolate to others' experiences. Maybe one just needs more practice...

RE: oak tree experience

Well I can say there was some sort of leaf scorch or blight on a lot of the red oak trees here these past couple years, Joe.

I'm not sure it's BLS, as the leaves don't quite match pics of BLS I've seen.

I will say that it affected pins the most, Northern Reds the second most, but didn't seem to affect Scarlet or Willow oaks at all.

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