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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:07 pm 
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Hi. My little oak had an encounter with some beetles and they were successful in killing half of the trees trunk vertically. Literally the entire left side of the trunk is dead and the right side is fine. It has cured it's self but, since the live part of the trunk is weak ( and half the size it was before) the tree will lean unless I use the cord you see in the pic. Leaves seem happy though.

Also, in the past three months, what I assume are baby trees have begun to sprout out of the roots and they are groing at an incredible rate.

So the question I have is, should I leave the main tree alone to see if she keeps groing, regardless of the damage, and cut down the baby trees...

Or..

Should I cut down the main tree and leave the baby trees to grow and become the main tree?

What should I do?

I'll upload pics in a moment.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:14 pm 
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Here are some pics. Photos are sideways for some reason.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 1:46 pm 
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Don't start cutting anything off of the tree yet, those are helping create energy for the plant. And the tree still has roots in the ground even if it is impaired so you shouldn't need a cord to hold it up. Howard doesn't recommend them very often, especially for established trees.

It looks like a tree that came with the house - was it put in by a builder? Chances are a tree from a black pot is both too deep and the roots are still growing in the small shape molded by the pot. A recently planted tree could be dug up and the roots straightened out before replacement. If it has been a while, you have to pamper it a bit and remove any circling/girdling roots.

Check to be sure the tree wasn't planted too deep in the ground; the flare should be exposed. Since the view of the flare on your tree is blocked by leaves you'll have to check. Here is information about doing it by hand:
https://www.dirtdoctor.com/garden/Flare-Exposure-by-Hand_vq13018.htm

Insects attack a tree that is already in stress, so these may be one of the causes. Because of the stress and damage, you will have to take some steps to help the tree recover. Have you heard of the "sick tree treatment"? This is a time when it can really make a difference. Sick tree treatment.

Make sure the tree is properly planted regarding the flare then try the sick tree treatment. Leave the suckers (what you called "baby trees") and extra leaves for the time being.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Thanks for the input. The tree is about 2 years old and the roots were spread out and it was planted pretty high up, though not as high as I would have wanted. Root flares are barely sticking out but they are right at the top of the soil.

The tree however has had a rough two years. Maybe it was transplant shock, but it barely grew and didn't look right. Finally the borer beetles got to it in late winter/early spring and I thought it was 100% dead...except something interesting happened. I came back better than ever. It spouted lots of new branches and leaves looked WAY better than before. It also spouted all those "suckers".

The reason I put the cord on one side is because half of the trunk is dead (vertically, one side is good and the other is dead wood). This made the trunk so weak the tree began to sag badly and I thought it was going to snap with decent wind. I figures that, once the leaves fall for winter, I would remove the cord and see what happens.

So, in the end, just leave the tree alone? This year was the year it thrived the most, by far, even with half a dead trunk. Should it eventually just expell the dead wood and heal it's self?

Thanks again for the input.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:09 pm 
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As badly injured as the tree was, and only two years in the ground, I'd be tempted to select a different species of high quality tree and replace the damaged one. Chances are a new healthy tree will catch up and surpass growth of this damaged tree pretty quickly. Otherwise you'll be waiting to see if this one recovers and is able to grow back around the dead wood and fill in like a regular tree.

Since you don't know why it failed, and just in case there was weed and feed or some other herbicide involved (do you use fertilizer?) I would consider adding zeolite or activated charcoal to the soil to lockup any chemicals that might be in the soil. (See the A-Z Dirt Doctor library for information about them.)

Lots of times trees and shrubs are killed when weed and feed fertilizers are spread - the instructions on those say not to use near the woody plants, but Howard's instructions are to never ever use those products.

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