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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:40 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 7:43 am
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Hello,

I think I have a sick tree, and wanted to see if anyone else here has had this problem. It is a 4 year old oak tree and the bark on the trunk is falling off! The leaves and branches still look ok, but there are a few branches that are dead.

I have attached some pics that I hope come out. We have another oak tree about 15ft away from this one that is doing fine.

Would anyone know what the problem might be and how to combat this?

Any help is appreciated!

Thank you


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:35 pm 
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Location: Aledo, TX
Do you have any pictures of the base of the tree? It is most likely planted too deep in the ground.

How have you been watering and fertilizing it?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:03 pm 
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No, I don't have any pics of the base. It is covered with a couple of years of mulch. Could that be a problem?

We do water, but haven't fertilized it with anything.

What can I do if it is planted too deep?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:03 pm 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Go to the Dirt Doctor home page and look at the Organic Guides and the Library of Organic Information. Tree planting guides, root flares, trees too deep in the ground - there are lots of topics for you to look into.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:32 am 
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Thank you both!

I am going to see what I can do to create the proper root flare. Should this tree come out of it if I do? Or is it too late?


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 9:16 am 
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Quite often the problem is too much water. How often and how much does this get watered?

If the tree is too deep you can pull back the grass off of the base and carefully scrape off the dirt until you get to the roof flare. The result is often a tree sitting in a wide shallow dish-shaped depression. Don't fill it up again, let the tree breathe.

Improper root flare treatment.

Proper exposure of root flares

Here is a recent conversation with photos from the forum member that might give you an idea of how this can be diagnosed and result in a healthier tree: http://www.dirtdoctor.com/newforum/root/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=20313

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 12:48 pm 
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We have not watered it yet this year, so just rain water up to this point.

I dug down a little bit to the base to see what I could see (was afraid to dig too far yet and damage anything).

I noticed that the trunk/bark had some holes in it almost like something was tunneling in. I took some pics of these holes, as well as the trunk.

I am not sure if the tree might have some critters causing the problem?

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:26 pm 
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That bottom photo is a classic photo of a tree too deep in the ground, coming straight out of the ground like a post, no flare in sight. It's like it can't breathe when the flare isn't exposed. Use a trowel or something that will allow you to carefully pull the dirt away from the tree. If it has been way too deep for a while there may be some small tangled false roots called "adventitious" roots. Work past them to the flare, the large woody support roots that spread at the base of the tree. Expose the flare as you can see in some of the link photos.

As bad as that bark looks, you might have a girdling root under there, a root that wrapped around in the pot and is still in that position in the ground, grown larger, and now strangling the tree.

The sick tree treatment is in order once you have the root flare uncovered.

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