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Name: Connie
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A

We have recently purchased some property to build our home. The focal point of the property is a huge live oak, probably 100+ years old. The diameter of the trunk is approximately 3.5-4 feet. We have noticed areas on the trunk where the bark appears to be deteriorating and flakes off easily. We are worried that the tree may have some type of disease or infestation. What is the best way to determine this? The tree itself (foliage, etc.) otherwise looks healthy. We do not want to lose such a beautiful tree and would like to do whatever it takes to protect it and ensure it's health. Any information you could give us will certainly be appreciated. The property is located in south Mobile County, Alabama. Do you know if the Forestry or Agriculture agencies provide any assistance in this area? Thanks for your help.

Dear Connie,

You might want to contact your local agricultural extension:


Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.


Without actually seeing the tree, my best recommendation would simply be to do what you can to promote the tree's vigor. You can visit a local garden area or call your county extension agent (in the county pages in your phone book) to find which conditions best suit the species. A local university or city library might have a book on tree silvics, or silviculture, which could provide useful information to you. The best bet would be in not loving the tree to death....sometimes interference can be as bad as neglect. Finally, you should be able to contact tree experts in your area for their recommendations; get a few recommendations to consider before you act.

Good luck; thanks for using NEWTON!

Dr. Rupnik

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