cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,741
Thanks: 1,472
Fixes: 1
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.

10 REPLIES 10
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 5,658
Thanks: 652
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎21-03-2011

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

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

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,958
Thanks: 1,018
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

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.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,741
Thanks: 1,472
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

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.

Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,958
Thanks: 1,018
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

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.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,741
Thanks: 1,472
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

This hot spell has set the trees recovery almost right back to the start.

Just when I thought it was out of the woods.Smiley

As I said previously for the past few years it looked fine just like the other nearby trees just leafing a few weeks later than usual.

Right now it's leaf covering is pretty "see through" maybe around 25% of normal.

Perhaps it will do the same as it did in those earlier years and produce more leaves when it get wetter and cooler.

Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,741
Thanks: 1,472
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Just in case anyone was wondering how the tree saga was going...............

Despite 2018 looking like the start of the end for the tree, and the very hot dry period earlier this year, I was amazed to see a thickly leaved oak tree looking exactly like the others nearby.

It looks like it has now fully recovered, maybe just a week out of sync.

Looking at it you would never think there had been anything wrong with it. If anything, because of the week or so out of sync, right now it looks greener and better than the other nearby oak trees.

 

 

Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,958
Thanks: 1,018
Fixes: 12
Registered: ‎01-08-2007

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

It could still be dying though, my grandfather reckoned that a tree can take over a decade to die. He also said that the base of the tree itself can be dead but the branches will carry on blooming / growing leaves for years even though the tree is effectively dead.

I can't say he was any sort of expert but he was a very observant fella and always had tales to tell on every subject you could think of.

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Highlighted
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 930
Thanks: 326
Fixes: 4
Registered: ‎22-10-2015

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

My small tree took a hit earlier this year. I've thought about taking it down but various branches still seem to be flexible while others just snap off. No leaves at all this year though. Decision time next year.

 

I have seen a tree blown over and from the part that was on the ground, roots and shoots appeared. Tough old things trees are. Well, until a chain saw comes along.

Ever helpful. Grin Sure, I’d love to help you out. Now which way did you come in?
Highlighted
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,741
Thanks: 1,472
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎23-09-2010

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Some trees seem to die very quickly. A beautiful red Maple nearby. big as any Oak tree, completely died in a couple of weeks. I did think at first it must have been poisoned but looking online Maples seem prone to often dying quickly for a lot of reasons.

Plus the poisoning theory never made sense as the tree was in the curved driveway of a large mansion size B&B / hotel. The tree was effectively a huge here I am advert for the place known for miles around. Now the front and curved driveway looks empty and a bit grubby.

Highlighted
Aspiring Legend
Posts: 11,367
Thanks: 3,704
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-11-2014

Re: Does a Mature Tree Ever Fully Recover

Don't know about oaks or recovery, but I have noticed around here lots of trees young and old with orange tags/streamers hanging from them so I'm guessing it's something to do with this Ash dieback which looks set to wipe out the majority of them.

Sad stuff.