big oak tree losing its 'tips'?

kirsten27(z7 NC)October 27, 2008

We have a very tall mature oak tree in our yard. For a few weeks now, what seems to be the "tips" of the branches are falling off - a small piece of branch with about 10-15 still-green (not brown) leaves attached. I've never noticed this happening in years past, unless there was a huge windstorm or something. But this has been going on with or without wind and there's quite an abundance of these "tips". Does anyone know what this means or have any experience with it?



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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

If you examine the ends and see they are not torn but very smoothly chewed you can blame it on squirrels who chew off the branch tips to make their winter nest(with persistent oak leaves attached). They seem to drop more than they hang onto.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 9:23PM
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myrmecodia(7 NC)

Ahh, so that explains why our yard is littered with hickory twigs. I was scratching my head and wondering about insect damage or strange diseases. Darn tree rats.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 11:32PM
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jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Shucks, yagottalove the squirrels! I find them HIGHLY ENTERTAINING -- especially when they're chasing each other through the high oak limbs in some mating ritual (usually more than one male fighting over a female) and one of them -- PLOP -- drops out of the tree almost ON TOP of you, like one did to me a month or two ago... and my little Tater Tot (half chihuahua/half Jack Russell, ALL WOUND UP) was only about 20 feet away, and took off like a RIFLE SHOT after that stunned squirrel which just BARELY made it back up the tree before TT got to him, lol.

Tater Tot routinely runs out the back door and makes a BEELINE for where he THINKS the squirrels are (and sometimes I watch him RUN RIGHT PAST where they ACTUALLY ARE, lol)... Then when they get up in the tree, he sits on the ground and looks at them and barks and barks and barks! Cats, too!

Back when I was still silly enough to put up bird feeders the squirrels could DESTROY, I occassionally would SHOOT a squirrel who had destroyed one... Made me feel bad, so I started putting up squirrel-proof feeders and/or ones they couldn't reach, and also occasionally some ears of dry corn for THEM and made my peace. Things are better that way.

Now chipmunks -- Sooooo cute, UNTIL you have a dozen or so living in your back yard... THEN they're another story -- they'll tunnel into your house (or come in through the dryer vent), dig all kinds of ankle-breaking holes in your yard... So long as you have A CAT or DOG in your yard, you're OK... But the 8 years we didn't have one, it was IMPOSSIBLE... I HAD to start trapping and relocating them!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 12:33AM
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kirsten27(z7 NC)

Dottie, that could be it! Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 2:47PM
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dottie_in_charlotte(z7-8 NC)

So glad you're back, Jeff!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:50PM
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LOL, Jeff - your Tater Tot and my Katie (a 10.5 lb, almost 2 year old beagle) would make a great team, Katie does the very same thing and has worn a path thru the yard in her dogged pursuit of those tree rats! I have to use low fence guards around plants, otherwise she'll mow them down ..... I just planted a new Blue Chip dwarf buddleia and neglected to fence it in - she managed to give it an early trim in short order with her gymnastics!

Feeding birds and outsmarting squirrels, while giving the beagle satisfaction, is just too amusing. Yankee Flippers work and the tree rats have no taste for nyger or safflower seed so feeders are stocked accordingly. Katie and I have so much fun!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2008 at 2:09PM
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jeffahayes(8a Upstate SC)

Yep, black nyger and safflower is ONE trick... as is feeders with no seed catch, so the squirrels don't have a plate from which to feed... As is hanging them too far from branches and trees for them to reach (I tie a string to something heavy, like a heavy fishing weight, etc.), then throw it over a HIGH tree branch and hang the feeder from a branch 20 feet in the air by a heavy-duty cord (usually lasts at least a few years before the weather finally gets to it. As a connector at the end to attach the feeder (so I can remove it for filling), I use those little clip shower curtain hangers which are great for that sort of thing... You can buy a pack of about a dozen for a couple bucks at Wal-Mart or wherever, when you can find them... I just tie the string on the BIG end, and then use the clip end to attach to the feeder.

Happy Feeding!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2008 at 9:20PM
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Does anyone know a cheap way to make your own weed killer or herbicide?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2012 at 11:34PM
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