Thursday, June 2, 2011

Help Needed! Live Oak Issues

Dear friends and experts,

We have 2 Heritage Live Oaks. They've been here in Tucson for years and years and today I noticed something new that I haven't seen EVER!! What is wrong with both of these trees? Is this normal? Symptoms....powdery substance on lower leaves.  Some have fuzzy galls underneath the leaf.  The upper leaves(new growth) of the canopy are deformed.  I just noticed it today.  Some leaves have fallen and some outer branches are bare.  Here are pics below.  If you have any advice, I would greatly appreciate it.  Is it serious?  They are at least 40 feet tall and have been here for years.  It's June and I've never noticed this before.  Any help would be be appreciated.  Thank you!


  1. Wow honey it doesn't look good! I have no idea. I don't know about trees. Sounds like you need a tree guy to come and look. Good luck!

  2. Looks like a psyllid of some sort. Could also be spider mites, which are bad this year. Nuke it with a contact insecticide that takes out both mites and aphids(and their ilk) and you should start to recover. Also ck the watering, it is very dry.


  3. Thank you! These oaks are around 80 years old! Thanks for the advice:)

  4. I wanted to add these comments for folks who are having the same issues as I am having with my oaks. I have since watered and the leaves have stopped yellowing....I also threw some ironnite down and the trees have stopped their decline. One reason I believe that they are having a difficult time is due to our pool being shut down. I believe that they had tapped into a water source and now don't have that water. Here are some responses from several arborists....most told me to water water water. Thank you David for your help in addressing these issues.
    1)We get spider mites and psyllids on our oaks. The gall deal is a red herring. Nuke em!
    2)I think this is freeze damage. The galls are cynipid wasp a non issue. Heritage oak on Odessa have suffered the same in
    cold winters. I would say water and cut out dead wood.
    3)Yes. I agree. Once the juvenile leaves have fully expanded and hardened off, they are quite tolerant to freeze damage.
    At least that is my insight for central TX.

    Thank you everyone for you comments and help. This blog is a diary of the garden here, but it's also meant as a helpline for others who like gardening in Tucson.


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