Mature red oak trees are overwhelmingly tall, and when paired with the vibrant red hue of the leaves, they are nearly majestic in appearance. Despite the fact that they may appear to be untouchable, these elegant trees are vulnerable to many threats, some of which may actually mean having your red oak trees removed from the property. Here are two of the more serious things you should watch for with your red oak trees and tips to deal with them.
Red oak trees planted in a highly alkaline soil mixture can become nutritionally deficient as they grow. The alkaline soil binds the iron content, preventing the plants in the area from absorbing this vital mineral. The iron deficiency caused by alkaline soil leads to chlorosis, which is a color alteration in the leaves. The deep red color of the leaves becomes yellow and sickly looking.
The best way to avoid problems like this is to test your soil before planting red oak trees. If a pH test shows that the soil is alkaline, you'll want to amend the soil with either elemental sulfur or sphagnum peat moss. Either one will add more acidity to the soil to balance it out. Add it in small amounts and keep testing the soil; that way you won't make it too acidic.
Anthracnose is a fungal disease that can infect red oak trees, killing the leaves and causing leaf drop. Though it starts with small dead spots on the leaves, it progresses rapidly and can cause significant destruction to the trees within days. This fungal disease thrives in environments that are wet and cool, so you'll want to be sure that your soil is draining well.
Once your red oak trees are infected by this fungus, you can't get rid of it. You can limit its spread across your property by cleaning up dropped leaves immediately so that nearby trees aren't as easily exposed. If the fungus progresses to significant leaf drop, you'll need to hire a tree removal expert to remove the tree from the property. He or she can do it safely, and can take the necessary precautions to limit the risk of spreading the fungus to other trees on your property.
You want to make sure that your landscaping and trees look great and stay healthy. The best way to do this is by understanding how to recognize problems. The sooner you spot an issue, the sooner you can have it addressed by a professional, if needed. Sometimes, that quick response is enough to keep it from killing the tree. In other cases, it's necessary to avoid destroying other trees on the property as well. With these tips, you'll be able to identify two of the common problems that threaten your red oak trees. For more information, contact a tree company like Pete & Ron's Tree Service.