Industry News: Leaf, Seed, and Flower Concerns

Q: 15-year-old shingle oak failed to fully leaf even though others nearby have. What's the cause?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015  

Q: Our shingle oak (about 15 years old) has failed to fully leaf out this year, though green buds are present, and some tiny portions of leaves are visible just beyond the bud tips. Other shingle oaks on the property have fully leafed out already. What might be causing this?

A: It is indeed worrisome that this one oak is suffering when others aren't. Central Iowa experienced drought in both 2012 and 2013. These events seriously stressed our trees. Then, the record-setting low temps of December 2013 through Spring 2014 decimated many of our trees. Your shingle oak could be giving up after any or all of these events, so be thankful for the better condition of the others. Remember to water established trees every second week during drought, and new trees twice a week, to ensure longevity. I offer the below general information on shingle oak from the University of Kentucky website. Best of luck with the patient.

Culture: Shingle oak is an easy oak to grow and adapts to various sites. While it prefers rich, moist, acidic soil and full sun, it is tolerant of drought, urban conditions and slightly alkaline soil. Shingle oak is easy to transplant. Because of its very strong wood, this oak is not subject to storm damage. Shingle oak has few serious insect and disease problems, although potential problems include obscure scale, two-lined chestnut borer, bacterial leaf scorch, oak horn gall and gypsy moth. In addition, as little as 1 inch of fill soil can kill an oak.


Responder: David Jahn, RCA #425, Des Moines, IA