Live Oak Losing Its Leaves?

Is your live oak losing it leaves? Is your tree sick? Is your live oak going to die?  We have been flooded with calls similar to these questions as Spring approaches.  The answer to these questions is most likely NO, but getting the assistance from an ISA Certified Arborist is never a bad idea.

So what is happening with our live oaks around Austin?  Well it happens every year and our phones blowing up with calls from concerned tree lovers like clock work. It happens every Spring!  Most people think of live oaks at evergreen trees because they are green almost year round or so it seems.  Live oaks are semi-evergreens…and unlike most of trees in Austin or Central Texas they do not lose their leaves until the Spring as the new leaves emerge, so they are rarely leave-less.  Why some live oaks may defoliate early in late Summer due to stress or they may drop a few leaves in the Fall, majority will drop their leaves now as we go into the spring.

Now to answer some questions!  Is my tree sick?  Most likely not…however getting an ISA Certified Arborist to do a site inspection can not hurt anything.  Like they say “Its better to be safe than sorry”…especially coming off the drought having an ISA Certified Arborist on site we may be able to detect stressed trees early or other tree related issues we may notice.  Is my tree going to die? Again, most likely not…most people are concerned that it is oak wilt.  Oak wilt will be rearing its ugly face more in the Spring and the chances of new oak wilt centers starting are increased in the spring, but 98 out 100 calls this time of the year the trees are just going through leave drop.  Visit our oak wilt page to see symptoms of oak wilt and treatment options.  Also for your convenience here is a picture of the classic symptoms on our live oak trees. wiltleaveswebYou will find these leaves on the ground beneath the trees of infected live oaks and can find them on the tree.  If you do not see these trees then most likely it is not oak wilt.  I do not want to sound like a broken record, BUT getting an ISA Certified Arborist to do a site inspection can not hurt anything.

What can you do? Wait and watch your tree grow!  Now is a great time to apply a site specific fertilizer and root stimulator.  We have witnessed first hand hundreds of trees dying from the drought.  Applying a root stimulator and water during periods of little or no rainfall will only help your tree thrive and grow.  Have questions or concerns?  Please do hesitate to contact us!  We are only a phone call away or few strokes on the keyboard!

Lee Evans
ISA Certified Arborist TX-1339A

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