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Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

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Registered: 23-09-2010

Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Near to where I live is a small park area surrounded by a few dozen full size mature oak trees. In May/June, not quite in full leaf, one of the trees leaves rapidly went brown in not much more than a week or two.

Well that's it I thought. No coming back from that. Must have been something pretty catastrophic. A main root snapping or perhaps coming across buried poison.

But come late Autumn, when the other oak tree leaves were starting to look past it, out pops numerous new shoots. Very sparse but they stayed all through winter. And around more than a month behind the others new leaves appeared in summer. After a few years recovery you could still see "through" the trees sparse leaf covering.

Now a decade has long past you can't see any difference in leaf covering compared to the other oaks. Though their initial appearance is still a week or so behind the rest.

One difference still remains though. Looking at the tree right now it is still is in full leaf. Yes they are all brown, with a few green ones here and there, but it now likes to hang onto them. Only shedding just before and during new leaf appearance.

Somehow I don't think this will ever change. It's like a switch has been pulled, maybe related to something like a beech hedge keeping its leaves while a beech tree drops them.

Who knows but it's interesting driving by and seeing the differences/changes.

4 REPLIES
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Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

It may Oak Die Back disease in which case the prognosis isn't grand.

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Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

If it was Oak Dieback I'd expect the symptoms listed on that page to match what BNB described but his description seems different.

I'm not a tree-ologist but perhaps they have different phases they go through during their lifespan? I have seen similar with trees before myself. At one place i lived at we had a tree that appeared to be pretty dead and having no life left in it, even my grandmother said the same and yet the following spring it came back to life and bloomed all over.

At our last address I'm pretty sure had had a tree that was suffering from oak die back, it had been hit by a storm already which shortened its height by half however every week branches were dropping off the thing and it looked visibly ill. In the 8 years i lied there it never looked any better, only worse. It'll fall at some point but it has a TPO on it and thus natures course takes priority over peoples sheds and cars.

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Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

I don't think it is Oak Dieback as it, unlike me, has a full head of hair now. And there are no visible dead branches to be seen in the summer months.

It's hard to tell from the dieback pictures but those look like they might just make one of the branches on this big oak tree.

It amazes me that it seems alive and well now. If you had seen it when it was all brown you would have thought, it's cactus.

I didn't give much thought to the first sparse new sprouts as many a rotten tree that has keeled over often throws out a few last effort green sprouts.

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Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Dying / dead trees can continue to bloom for years my grandfather reckoned. I suppose that's due to the amount of moisture in the wood and the fact that it absorbs it and dries out quite slowly but that's just a theory.

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