Dr. Ong says, “It is very difficult to diagnose with photos alone, so we always look for clues from the narrative (verbal and written) and from the photos. From these photos, the trees are established and it appears that the symptoms are all over the ONE tree only.”
Here are some of the possibilities that Dr. Ong shared with the Wise County Ag Agent:
- Looks for girdler (insect) which might girdle the affected branch (unlikely because you would expect to see some symptoms on other tree).
- Investigate if there was anything that might have disrupted the roots of that one tree in the past 3-5 years (again, unlikely because of the proximity of the other “healthy” looking one)
- Genetics – this particular tree is expressing “tip abortions” (this was a term that I coined) – that seem to show up in mid to late summer on some oak trees where it seems like they shed some of the foliage. My theory is that the tree is trying to conserve water use for survival. And it may also be related to a phenomenon called CLADOPTOSIS – which is a natural shedding of branch tip.
Learn more about cladoptosis: https://plantclinic.tamu.edu/2013/11/15/cladoptosis-an-interesting-phenomenon/
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