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is this the start of oak wilt?
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Here is a photo of a live oak leaf from a tree in my front yard. Note the yellow splotchy colors on the leaf, whereas the original color is a darker green (close to the stem). Also, the leaves tend to be larger than normal (almost twice as long and wide), are less thick or stiff, and are wavy instead of having a smooth surface.

Many branches on the tree are affected, and most of the leaves on the affected branches share this appearance. Many but not all of the leaves are partially eaten by something.

I looked at photos of oak wilt online, and most of them seem to have brown around the veins. None of my leaves are really brown at all.

Does anyone recognize this symptom?

 
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RCA #354
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First, the caveat. It’s difficult to make an accurate diagnosis based on just one photo, even a good one like this. So, consider this as a suggestion for what it might be, not an absolute identification of the problem.

You didn’t indicate where you are located, but being a live oak tells me you’re in the southern part of the country. From the photo and your description, it looks like it is oak leaf blister disease. This is caused by a fungus, Taphrina caerulescens. It infects leaves just as they break from the buds; older leaves are usually not affected as much. It causes distortions of the new growth, and in some cases may cause some localized overgrowth. This all fits your description.

There is no treatment or cure. The trees can be reinfected each spring. Fungicide sprays can be applied just before budbreak, but efficacy may be sporadic. The good news is that it won’t kill the tree, and usually doesn’t cause it any significant harm. It just doesn’t look good.

Here’s more information. Also try a search on the scientific name.
Oak leaf blister


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Russ Carlson, RCA, BCMA
 
Posts: 287 | Location: Bear, DE USA | Registered: Wednesday June 18, 2003Report This Post
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