reviving a nearly dead tree

jamiecrouseMarch 12, 2009

We have an oak tree (I don't know what kind; it is evergreen and has lobed leaves and produces acorns) that our HOA planted too close to the street and then moved late last fall. I'm guessing it was a few years old; the trunk is about 3'' thick. It hasn't done too well since we evidently didn't water it enough at first; it lost all its leaves and the twigs that I can reach are clearly dead. My husband was about to give up on it and remove it when it just started putting out new leaves all up and down the trunk, as far as I can tell none on the main branches. What can I do to help it survive? I'm worried about trimming the brances too much and I think it would look just like a pole. Any suggestions?

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rick_mcdaniel(Lewisville, TX)

It is a Live Oak, and the younger ones will lose their leaves the first few winter seasons, because it is a semi-evergreen, and not a true evergreen. As it matures, it will begin to lose leaves gradually, and replace them gradually, so that the fact it is doing so, will not be obvious, and it will appear evergreen.

That is normal for these.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 2:53PM
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jamiecrouse

Well I hope you're right. Unfortunately, I still think the tree is in distress as all of my neighbors' trees which were also transplanted by the HOA managed to keep most of their leaves over the winter. And I am worried that the new leaves are not appearing on the outer parts of the branches, which as I said are clearly dead. They break off easily and have no green core. Also, I have a live oak and it doesn't have the same shape leaf and doesn't produce acorns, but perhaps they are different types of live oaks.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 6:59PM
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bjb817

The tree in question could be a Monterrey Oak. They have a larger and more lobed leaf than a Live Oak. They vary greatly in how "evergreen" they are also. I've noticed groupings of them where one will go bare and another will keep all its leaves.

I wouldn't give up just yet. Wait a few weeks and see what it does.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2009 at 9:12PM
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lou_midlothian_tx(z8 DFW, Tx)

Make sure it's not planted too deep. Root flares should be exposed. For that size of tree, you'd be better off with 5 feet wide of compost and mulch to get it established quickly. Oaks take forever to establish if grass is allowed to grow up to the trunk.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2009 at 7:47AM
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