Thursday, May 3, 2012

America's Favorite Tree, the majestic Oak

The oak tree family has been a staple tree in our society for centuries and was named America's National Tree in 2004. The oak tree family is made up of hundreds of species. As a landscaping tree they make great shade trees and many have great fall color. This hardwood species oak trees can live well over 200 years and provide hundreds of benefits including lumber and food for wildlife.

Types of Oak Trees

Scarlet Oak

Bur Oak

White Oak

Northern Red Oak

Live Oak

Sawtooth Oak

Pin Oak

Overcup Oak

Oak Tree planting, pruning, and care tips

You can find an oak tree for almost all of the planting zones in the United States. Many oaks can and do grow well in southern climates with many of them extending to zone 9. Oaks are generally large trees so when planting them make sure they will have room to grow both up and out. A planting site for many trees in the oak family should have enough space for an 80 foot tall tree that is 80 feet wide as well. Oaks can adopt to most soil conditions and generally like full sun.  Young native oaks trees are very tolerant of their environment and make excellent, adaptable, landscape assets. The mature native oak is an invaluable part of our environment but does not tolerate many changes once established. Architects, builders, homeowners, and others should be very careful in fitting their plans with these magnificent giants. Any substantial change in the mature oak's environment can weaken or kill an oak, even a healthy specimen.

A good rule of thumb is to leave the tree's root protection zone (RPZ) undisturbed. This area, which is half again as large as the area from the trunk to the drip line, is the most critical to the oak. Many problems for oaks are initiated by disturbing the roots within this zone.

Any of the following symptoms may be indicators of a serious problem.
If you observe any of the following symptoms contact a reputable arborist, like the ones at Trees "R" Us, Inc. to determine a course of action:
• Thin or open canopy; sparse foliage; foliage drop
• Mottled, yellow, or small foliage
• Dead or dying branches or foliage
• Dense, short shoots on branches and/or trunk
• Decay or cavities in the trunk or large limbs
• Fungal conks, shelf mushrooms on the trunk or root collar
• Wet, oozing, or slimy patches on the trunk or limbs

Oak Wilt affects several species in the Midwest. In areas where Oak Wilt is present, oaks susceptible to wilt should not be pruned in spring or early summer as the disease is especially active at that time of year. To learn more about oak wilt contact your local, reputable tree service or arborist, like Trees "R" Us, Inc in Wauconda.  Trees "R" Us, Inc. services the North Shore area of Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.  Give us a call or contact us on the web for an analysis of your trees.

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