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What’s Wrong with My Oak? Could Be Hypoxylon Canker
We were called out to a construction site recently to diagnose oak trees that looked to be struggling or dying. After our arborist inspected the trees, he diagnosed them with hypoxylon canker.
This disease attacks trees that are stressed; typically due to construction damage. As you can see in the photo, there is a large building construction project going on right next to these large trees. Repetative damage from the construction work pushed these trees into a stressed condition, which then left them suceptible to diseases and pests such as hypoxylon canker. Yet another reason why it’s so important to properly protect trees before and during construction projects at your home or business site.
Hypoxylon Canker is caused by a fungus called . This fungus can infect any kind of oak tree, especially Red Oaks. The canker appears as dead lesions on bark, limbs and branches of infected trees. At first they will be a light brown color and dusty when disturbed. Eventually, these areas will turn very hard.
The cankers develop under the bark as a black rot that eventually causes a white rot decay of the tree’s sapwood. It not only causes tree death, but it makes the tree structurally unsound; meaning it can become a hazard tree that can be dangerous to your home and family. You may have read about the , infected with Hypoxylon canker, that we had to remove from Swiss Avenue.
Once you begin to see the decay of this disease, the tree is already well into decline. And, as we’ve stated before, Hypoxylon canker does not infect healthy trees. Another great reason to keep trees properly watered, fed and pruned so it is best able to fend off this destructive fungal disease.