The Oak Tree in this picture has a disease called Hypoxylon Canker. It is a disease that can attack any number of different species of trees. In the Tyler, Texas area they have lost thousands of Oaks and Elm trees due to this disease. Most home owners do not want to cut down a tree until it is completely dead. This is part of the problem. A lot of the time, a homeowner will not even know that a tree has this disease until it is too late to save the tree. If the tree is diagnosed in its early stages with this deadly disease, it can be pruned back and saved. However, if allowed to stay until the tree is completely dead, it will not only kill the one tree, but it usually will spread to the surrounding trees as well.
The disease usually starts out by getting under the bark and feeding on the sap of the tree while loosening the bark of the tree causing a vein like mark. When active the tannish brown substance will become like baby powder that you could dust off.
Treatment for a tree if caught early on is simple. Remove the infected and dead limbs and treat the tree or trees for pests/ bugs. The Tree Service may also want to plug some two inch holes in a pattern of two feet from the drip line to the trunk of the tree all the way around the tree and fill the holes with sand or gravel to let moisture and nutrients get to the feeder roots easier. This can be costly, however when you have a tree that has been growing for forty or fifty years or longer in your yard, the life of the tree can be priceless.
Once the tree is infected by over fifteen to twenty percent, the tree must be removed in order to save the surrounding trees. Please don’t hesitate as this deadly disease has been in the East Texas area spreading since the drought in 2006 and we still cannot beat it due to poor maintenance and hesitance to remove infected trees. Use the search online Tree service near me to have your trees evaluated today and help save our trees. If you would like more information on Hypoxylon Canker and other tree diseases, you can find it on Texas A&M University’s website at http://texasforestservice.tamu.edu/Diseases/