Ask an arborist

tree-care.info for tree advice

Re: Red Oak dropping visually healthy limbs

Re: Red Oak dropping visually healthy limbs
Posted by: Benny070069 (IP Logged)
Date: October 27, 2015 13:32


Hi Nora,

What you have described is referred to as 'summer branch drop".

At's actually quite a common occurrence with most trees and general happens during hot spells or in generally dry weather.

Why?
A tree is always "reacting" to the changing environment and does what ever it needs to, to survive. Basically your tree shed the 2 branches to try to conserve available resources.

It's the same as what happens when a human holds their breath for a long time.... As your body starts to lack oxygen to circulate around your body, it reacts by stopping the flow of oxygen to your extremities and just sends what it has left to your major organs...... as even more time passes, it sends all it's dwindling available oxygen to your brain, cutting off the rest of your body.


This is not a conscious process, again it's a reaction.

http://i103.photobucket.com/albums/m151/b_mcinerney/arborist%20brisbane_zpst5blgopa.jpg

Arborists don't fully understand why this happens yet, but from a scientific point of view that is their best guess.

Stress
There are many factors that can stress a tree to cause branch drop. If changes are small or slow the tree has time to adapt, but if there is an immediate change to it's envirnnment, it can lead to crown die back, overflowing (the tree trying to reproduce before it dies with further stresses the tree and actually leads to a quick death)

Change examples
Some changes that might cause the above reactions by trees can be anything that affects the way it receives water and exchanges oxygen. for example if a tree has been getting loads of water through an open lawn, but then you decide to pave the area, you have just massively reduced it's water source. Same can happen by building up garden beds too much with mulch or dirt or even driving a car over the area and compacting the dirt.

It can happen from mechanical damage (physical to the tree) or it can be pest based. If you have borers they will be slowly eating the tree link a cancer and cutting of it's water and nutrient supply.

Fixes
You can change a tree environment, but you need to compensate by removing some of it branches. So if if you reduce a trees water supply by 30% thing about removing 30% of it's branches. A tree will only grow what it can maintain and no more. If it is suddenly unable to maintain it will drop the "dead weight.

Because you tree has self-shed there isn't a lot you really need to do. You could thing about removing another branch or 2 just to relieve it even more, but other than that, your tree sounds fine and is doing what trees do best... surviving!

Ben McInerney
Qualified Arborist Australia
http://www.gotreequotes.com.au/#!treelopping-/c1wip

Subject Posted By Posted
|  Red Oak dropping visually healthy limbs Nora 29/09/2015 00:25
||  Re: Red Oak dropping visually healthy limbs Benny070069 27/10/2015 13:32

Advice offered in this forum is of a general nature only. It is by its nature not based on any site investigation and should not be relied upon. Neither the forum administrator nor any contributor will be held liable for damages occurring as a result of relying on advice given here. You should contact a competent arboriculturist for a more detailed answer.