Please help with tree problem

atxgoJuly 29, 2011

Hello,

This past spring, I planted 11 Monterrey Oak trees on my property outside Austin. I have been watering pretty consistently, with a schedule of once every three days. Each time, I leave a light trickle from the hose onto the base of the tree for about 15-20 minutes. Overall, my 11 trees are doing very well, with pretty consistent leaf growth and generally look better than I would have expected with the drought we've been having.

However, one tree has developed a problem that seems like rot at the base of the tree (extending from the ground up about a foot), with significant discoloration. The picture below shows the problem. There is a layer (about 3") of pine mulch around the base of the tree, but I left a little bare ground at the very base. This particular tree was a 15-gallon, about 12' tall tree planted in the first week of March. Other than this "rot" at the base, the tree appears to be healthy, with fresh leaves appearing pretty regularly.

Any advice appreciated.

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GeraldC

I think it's going to be hard for anyone to be sure from a photo. One real possibility, I think, is Aleurodiscus oakesii, "smooth patch," which is a fungus growing on dead bark and not harmful to the tree. But whatever it is, it has the look of fungus. I would question that watering method. Fifteen minutes of light trickle every three days sounds to me like it keeps the top soil wet but doesn't do much for the tree. Consider a thorough soaking until the water begins to stand before slowing running in, and doing that once a week in this weather with such a new tree. Maybe leave the mulch pulled back for a while and see if the white goes away. Just my first thought.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 12:36PM
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atxgo

Thanks. I'll look into the fungus. Unfortunately a picture is all I have since I can't take the tree to the nursery.

Regarding the watering, I probably understated how much water I am giving the trees by using the word trickle, because there is normally some standing water when I finish. I would imagine the flow is about a gallon a minute, give or take. As I said, all the trees are doing pretty well except for this one problem, so I'm not sure I have a watering problem.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 8:10PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

You may want to post your picture on the tree forum and see if they have some ideas too.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Web Tree Forum ...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:32PM
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wantonamara Z8 CenTex

I have been told 10 gallons once a week ....BUT if it is on very porous limestone soil, 5 gallons Twice a week during the first year when it is hot. I think one out of 11 is damn good gardening on a year like this.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 11:28PM
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