Help! My live oak is severly damaged!

Planty(z8b LA)October 19, 2004

I don't know where to go for help. My huge live oak has severe damage and I want to save it. Is there anyone here who can help or tell me where to go for help? Sue

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We need a little helpful information. What sort of damage? Is it partially uprooted? Limbs Broken? Does it show signs of disease? Did this happen all at once or gradually over time?

But the main thing is it damaged? A tree that has a lot of bark taken off is in serious trouble. If the bark is intact, it has a better chance.

Your best bet may be to seek out professional help. It may need pruning to get it back to a size that the roots can support. How old is your tree?

They are such lovely trees. I can understand your desire to try and save it. They can take a lot of damage and still come back. Good Luck!

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 9:19AM
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Sophie Wheeler

Look in the Yellow Pages under Tree Services and select a Certified Arborist to come and assess the tree's condition. Don't bother with anyone who advertises about "topping" or other barbaric practices. You don't want just any "tree guys", you want an arborist.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2004 at 6:54PM
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Planty(z8b LA)

This oak is between 50-60 years old. It had a few crooks in the trunk/branches where leaves and moisture collected and it rotted. We didn't know this till it fell. The branch that split off is 6'around at the widest point. It removed the bark, from about 1/3 of the tree, down to about 6" from the ground. About 1/3 of the trunk is gone and half of all branches and foliage. There is no root damage. My budget does not allow for me to call in a professional. I am willing to do ANYTHING to save my tree. Please can anyone help? I have a pic of the damage but can't remember how to bring it here.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 8:12AM
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Have you been over to the Tree Forum? There are some very wise folks over there. There may be someone with just the right answer.

Live oaks can stand a lot of damage. However, if that rot is spread into the trunk, that's not a healthy tree. would it endanger your house or car if it were to fall? How about your neighbor's property?

My best guess would be to trim the broken limb off as neatly as you can and then let Nature take it's course. You might could fertilize it, but I have no idea when you should do that or with what.
Good luck


Here is a link that might be useful: Tree Forum

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 12:57PM
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Planty(z8b LA)

Guess I didn't see the tree forum. No the rot is not through the rest of the trunk. I don't have to worry about it falling on my house because it already did! Ha! Was a real mess but little damage to house. I have a good picture but can't remember how to get it here....could anyone help me with that? If I go to Tree Forum, I would like to have the picture.
Thanks PB! I appreciate you answering. God Bless! Sue

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 1:12PM
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This is a common Live Oak problem. Nine times out of ten they fight off the damage and continue growing well. Five years ago I saw a Live Oak which I estmated to be about three hundred years old torn apart as you describe with bark on one side stripped off and heartwood revealed. What remains is healthy and thriving. Best to leave your tree alone and let it heal in it's own way. If you enter a drought period the tree would probably appreciate some extra watering.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2004 at 1:32PM
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