Pictured is a 7 year-old-Mexican oak just north of San Antonio. It's rocky as hell & last year was record drought & heat. I'm battling crabgrass in the lawn.
I'm not experienced on diagnosing & treating tree issues. What is concerning me is the leaf distribution on the branches. Is this "oak wilt"?? Basically, each year, I get this "tufting" effect on some branches. It seems that leaves come out toward the end, and don't fill in the branch. Or, leaves just don't come out on certain branches. Branches without leaves are simply dead. Other red oaks up & down the street seem to be doing well-- so I'm scratching my head on this one ...
Past problems: Scale infestation.
Current problem: Fire ants going up & down the trunk
Things tried: Last year I spend weeks battling the scale. Spraying down regularly with neem oil seemed to get ahead of it. I don't see much scale at all. Now I'm out there squirting organic insecticide on the trunk to fight the ants.
I kept a ring of compost around the base for probably 4-5 years. Since then, I've let the grass grow on up, thinking it's mature enough .... But, considering the problems, wonder if I should leave the compost ring & apply sick tree treatment at the base?
This beautiful oak has been fighting for its life, and I want to give it a fighting chance: Thank you in advance for your experience here:
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