Advice about newer trees?
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    Advice about newer trees?

    So I purchased two Swamp White Oak trees last fall from Midamerican Energy through there Plant Some Shade program. I planted them late in October last year.

    Well after a while this spring they finally started to bloom and got plenty of leaves on each tree, so I felt like everything was going well. They have gotten plenty of water so far this year with all the rain, so I thought, but the past week and a half I have noticed the leaves are starting to turn brown and I'm worried the trees aren't going to make it.

    I don't have much experience with new/young trees, so what else should I be doing?



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    If you have clay ground, water can some times get trapped around the tree and drown it.



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    Quote Originally Posted by goldmember View Post
    If you have clay ground, water can some times get trapped around the tree and drown it.

    I don't think that's the case, but of course I could be wrong.

    We haven't had much rain the past week or two and that is when I have started to notice the problem. So if it was drowning I would have thought I would notice it earlier.



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    I came home from work and took this picture. It continues to get worse.



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    If it is a Swamp White Oak then it is a "facultative wet" plant (in wetland delineation terms) which means 66% of the time or more it is found in wetlands. Too much water will not be a problem. (source: PLANTS Profile for Quercus bicolor (swamp white oak) | USDA PLANTS (look at wetland indicator status)).

    The leaves look a little yellow. Maybe a nutrient issue (N if so). Give a call to the state forester in your area and ask if they have any suggestions.

    Edit: Come to think of it, they might not be getting enough water. It looks like there might be some wilting going on there. It only takes one dry spell to make the tree look sickly. You might want to considering going to a local gardening shop and buying a tree watering device like this:


    Trust me, you will have to try hard to over water this tree, although it's much easier to not water it enough.


    Last edited by colbycheese; 06-06-2011 at 07:56 PM.
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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    I would call your city forester, if they have one, or state forester if not. I would also go to ISU Extension and talk to them. Maybe Earl May or another nursery. I know a lot of oaks are very iron dependant, and perhaps this is an issue? We also have had a wierd spring, with the cold, wet then switching to very hot. I could see stress being a big problem. I would still look for an opinion from a serious expert. Maybe take some leaves with you to a nursery, along with the photos.


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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    ISU has the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic, where they spend all day diagnosing such things. Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Start with sending the info and picture to Laura and Erica.

    The DNR Forestry Bureau/State Forester tends to focus on woodland setting, not specimen/yard trees.

    My advice is to try to work with ISU people first, before going to a retail outlet that is likely to find a reason to sell you something, whether you need it or not...



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    I'm an ISU Hort grad and a landscape designer. I would guess your tree is just stressed from all of the hot weather and wind we've been having lately. As others have mentioned I highly doubt over-watering is an issue. Young trees often have more juvenile foliage (softer leaves) than adult trees and I'm guessing the heavy winds have just sucked the moisture content out of the leaves. Just keep watering it as normal. I think you'll be fine.



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    Quote Originally Posted by cyfan964 View Post
    I'm an ISU Hort grad and a landscape designer. I would guess your tree is just stressed from all of the hot weather and wind we've been having lately. As others have mentioned I highly doubt over-watering is an issue. Young trees often have more juvenile foliage (softer leaves) than adult trees and I'm guessing the heavy winds have just sucked the moisture content out of the leaves. Just keep watering it as normal. I think you'll be fine.
    Are they brown or yellow? If they are yellow, look into chlorosis. I can't tell from the picture



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    Re: Advice about newer trees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishhead View Post
    Are they brown or yellow? If they are yellow, look into chlorosis. I can't tell from the picture

    I appreciate all the help.

    The leaves are brown, not yellow.



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