We can always tell when something’s a little “off” with our trees.
Take it from Davey blog reader John, for example. He reached out after seeing brown leaves on a couple of bur oak trees in his yard. John said: “My very large oaks have portions where the leaves have turned brown during the summer and fallen off and one had an entire limb that didn't leaf out this summer.”
Oak trees like John’s, and yours, are vulnerable to quite a few pests and diseases that can lead to brown leaves. Below, read about some of the common troubles oak trees face, and learn how to tell what’s what.
The key to diagnosing your browning oak tree is looking past the color and checking the tree for other symptoms.
Let’s run down a few of the reasons why your oak tree leaves might be brown.
Because oak wilt disease is a serious threat to oak trees, it’s important to know the distinguishing factors that set it apart from other tree problems. Unfortunately, red oaks plagued by oak wilt will quickly decline and eventually die, but spotting the symptoms is the best way to protect other trees in your yard.
There are three telling signs of oak wilt disease:
Infected red oak leaves consist of discoloration, wilt, and defoliation. Live oaks show browning of the veins followed by leaf discoloration and defoliation. Below are oak wilt images for identification.
Any problem with your oak tree calls for an arborist’s attention, but you should certainly contact an arborist ASAP if you have a hunch that your tree’s infected with oak wilt.
Even if oak wilt doesn’t appear to be the culprit, it’s much better to be safe than sorry. As the list above proves, many oak tree problems look awfully alike. The best thing you can do for your tree is to get a professional opinion.