~ Oak Alert: The Fungi Effect ~

Oaks are a precious and valuable resource. They support many forms of life by hosting insects, birds, and other wildlife, and provide a valuable food source: acorns. They also produce a highly durable and valuable timber. Oaks are threatened by a number of pests and pathogens, including fungi. We are currently finding that for some reason English Oaks around Rhode Island are being negatively affected by a fungus called Botryosphaeria corticola, or Bot Canker. Bot Canker can be treated and managed with micro-injections (check out our last blog, http://bit.ly/2urSDV6), and also by pruning the diseased branches off of the tree. For oaks that are not affected, maintaining the overall health and vitality of the tree is paramount. Ensure trees are watered so that they are not stressed due to drought, and have them injected according to their needs (fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, etc.) 

Signs of Bot Canker to look for:

  • Random wilting leaves towards the tip of the twig
  • Small, black, pimple-like, raised fungal fruiting bodies (we know... gross)
  • Cracked, sunken bark at the base of twigs with wilted leaves
  • Brown to black cankers (resembling open sores) on affected twig/limb
  • If bark is peeled back from the canker, brown streaks can be seen in the sapwood
  • Cankers only occasionally extend into larger branches

Here are some photos of trees affected with Bot Canker. If you suspect that your tree has been impacted, give us a call. We're happy to take a look and care for your trees.