Common Oak Tree Diseases of the Leaves and Twigs

The oak tree is a versatile plant. It provides shade, acts as a windbreak and produces acorns, which, in turn, feed wildlife. Unfortunately, the mighty oak is subject to some diseases. Some oak tree diseases are nothing more than mild annoyances while others can cause the death of the tree. In this article, we’ll focus on oak tree diseases that affect the leaves and twigs.

Oak Tree Blister

You can see this disease on the top and on the bottom of the leaves. On the surface of the leaf, you will see blister like areas that can be as large as the size of a quarter. One the other side of the leaf, you can find a gray-colored depression that matches up with the blister. As this oak tree disease progresses on the leaf, the blister turns brown, the leaf curls up and dies and it will drop prematurely. Oak tree blister does not cause tree death, but it makes the oak tree look rather unsightly.

The causes of the oak tree blister are environmental. For this disease to occur, the weather must be unseasonably mild, wet and humid in the spring. If these factors occur during the spring or your neighbor has a tree with this disease, it’s possible that yours can become infected. Why? The spores of the disease are easily transported through wind and rain.

To reduce your chances of getting this oak tree disease, you need to clean up your garden space. Remove all the fallen leaves and throw them away. If you have had the disease, do not compost your leaves. The spores will remain in the compost. When you go to use it, you will be reincorporating the spores back into the environment.

Anthracnose

This plant disease typically hits new shoots and twigs. It is first seen as a browning of the leaves and twigs that eventually die back. You can also see it present as cupping and browning along the leaf veins in slightly older leaves. Mature leaves are typically not affected by anthracnose. Another characteristic of this oak tree disease is the presence of small fruiting bodies on the underside of affected leaves. These fruiting bodies usually follow the vein of the leaf. Anthracnose is fungal in nature and survives in twigs and plant debris. The disease loves mild winters so it can remain active. Wind and rain are how it spreads from one twig or branch to another and one tree to another.

Your tree may look untidy if it’s affected with anthracnose, but it’s not a deadly oak tree disease. To avoid this problem or help a tree affected with it, you should make sure the tree is properly fed. Next, prune back the lower branches of the oak tree. This increased air circulation around the branches. This helps dry out the immediate environment around the tree. Since fungi like moist environments, by pruning you are helping to keep the environment healthy for your oak tree. Rake up the leaves and twigs that fall from your tree. Dispose of the leaves by placing them in the trash or burning them.

Tubakia Leaf Spot

This oak tree disease appears as brown or reddish brown blotches on young leaves. On older leaves, it looks sort of like spots of dead leaf tissue. Fungal fruiting bodies can be seen on top of the lesions. If the tubakia leaf spots set up on or along the veins of the leaf, the leaf itself can cave in due to the blockage of water up and through the vein.

If the winters are mild, the fungus can live in twig and leaf debris. Like all fungi, it thrives on wet, warm and humid air. Although both white oaks and red oaks can get this disease, the red oak seems to be more susceptible to tubakia leaf spots.

Don’t worry if you find tubakia leaf spots on your oak trees. You can treat them with a few simple steps. First, make sure your oak is in good health. You want to ensure that it’s receiving proper nutrition via fertilizer. You also want to give your tree enough water. It’s a good idea to improve air circulation around the tree. This is done by pruning back the lower branches. Finally, you’ll want to clean up underneath the tree and dispose of leaves and twigs in the trash. This will reduce the chances of a reinfestation of the fungus.

Powdery Mildew

Powdery mildew can occur in plants besides oaks. The most common characteristic of this disease is a white, powdery growth on the top of the leaves. During the late summer to the fall, you can also see small, black, fruiting bodies growing through the powdery growth. If the infection attacks the buds and/or shoots, the growth will be more like the leaves of a holly, which are long and pointy.

A cool, moist spring is a wonderful environment for powdery mildew to grow in. It survives in the leaf debris left from the fall. Wind can spread the spores to new vegetation but they will only take hold on dry leaves. To reduce your chances of developing powdery mildew, you should remove any fallen leaves and/or twigs. You should water your tree in the morning only and prune away any deformed branches or leaves.

As you can see, oak tree diseases can be pretty problematic. Next week, we’ll focus on insect-caused oak tree diseases. If you have questions about the health of your oak tree, please give us a call at 512-341-8888. We’ll be happy to help you.

Oak Wilt Management

In last week’s blog post, we went over what Oak Wilt is. Now, we’ll discuss oak wilt management. There are three primary approaches to oak wilt management that are used in Central Texas. Successful control usually   depends on incorporating measures from all three approaches. The first approach attempts to prevent the formation of new oak wilt infection centers by eliminating diseased red oaks, handling firewood properly and painting wounds on healthy oaks so they don’t get infected in the first place. The second approach involves trenching or other measures which disrupt root connections responsible for transmission of the pathogen. Finally, injections of the fungicide propiconazole into individual, high-value trees help reduce crown loss and may extend the life of the tree. These measures do not cure oak wilt, but they can significantly reduce tree losses.

Preventing new infections

Infected oaks that die in late summer, fall or early winter should be cut down and burned, buried or chipped soon after discovery to prevent fungal mats that may form on these trees the following spring. If this is not possible, you should inject the trees should be injected with herbicide or deeply girdled with an ax and stripped of bark 2 to 3 feet above the soil line. Drying of the wood before spring also discourages the formation of fungal mats.

All wounding of oaks, including pruning, should be avoided from February through June. The least hazardous periods for pruning are during the coldest days in winter and the extended hot period in mid-to-late summer. Regardless of the season, all pruning cuts or other wounds to oak trees, including freshly cut stumps and damaged surface roots, should be treated immediately with paint to prevent exposure to contaminated insect vectors. Any type of paint will suffice.

Care should also be taken when transporting unseasoned firewood from diseased oaks. There is a slight potential to transport the oak wilt fungus. Oak wilt cannot be transmitted by burning diseased firewood. However, fungal mats may form on wood that is kept in storage. Never store your firewood near your oak trees just to be safe. Your best bet is to purchase wood that has been thoroughly dried for at least one full year.

Stopping spread of Oak Wilt through the roots

Measures can be taken to break root connections between live oaks or dense groups of other oaks to reduce or stop root transmission of the oak wilt fungus. The most common technique is to sever roots by trenching at least 4 feet deep with trenching machines, rock saws or ripper bars. Trenches more than 4 feet deep may be needed to assure control in deeper soils.

Correct placement of the trench is critical for successful protection of uninfected trees. There is a delay between colonization of the oak wilt fungus and the appearance of symptoms in the crown. You should carefully identify all infected trees first. The trench should be placed a minimum of 100 feet beyond the symptomatic trees even though there may be ‘healthy’ trees at risk of infection in the trench. Trees within a 100 foot barrier, especially those without symptoms, can be uprooted or cut down and removed to improve the barrier. If you must remove any trees, it’s best to do so after the trenching has been done. You start with healthy trees adjacent to the trench and gradually move inside the trench to include the symptomatic trees. Oak wilt infection centers are best suppressed when detected early, before they become too large. You will want to monitor your trees for several years at least.

Fungicide treatment

Propiconazole is the only fungicide that has been scientifically tested and proven effective for use as a preventative treatment to protect live oaks. It also has limited success with trees that are treated with therapeutic injections during the earliest stage of infection. You inject the fungicide into the tree’s water-conducting vascular system through small holes that are drilled into the root flares at the base of the tree. Treatment success depends on the health of the candidate tree, application rate and injection technique. It’s best to have an experienced hand do the injections. Fungicide injection doesn’t stop root transmission of oak wilt so you should do this in conjunction with trenching or to protect high-value trees that you can’t trench.

For more information on managing oak wilt, we encourage you to call us at Austin Tree Service. Our phone number is 512-341-8888. Thank you.

 

What is oak wilt?

Oak wilt is one of the most destructive tree diseases in the United States. Oak wilt kills lots of trees in Central Texas. Some say that it’s prevalent in epidemic proportions here. Well, what is oak wilt? Oak wilt is an infectious disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum. This fungus invades and infects the water-conducting system in susceptible trees. All oaks are susceptible to this disease to some degree. Some species are more affected than others. In fact, infections have been found in 16 native oak species.

Oak wilt affects two main types of oak species specifically – the white oak and the red oak. White oak trees have rounded leaf edges and the pores are clogged with tyloses while red oaks have pointed leaf edges. Their pores are large and open. Because of this difference, red oak trees tend to die faster from oak wilt than white oaks.

So, how does oak wilt disease spread?

The oak wilt fungus spreads in two basic ways. First, there is a transfer of spores from diseased to healthy trees by insect vectors and movement of the fungus from a diseased tree to a healthy tree through root grafts. If conditions are right after the oak has wilted and died, spores are produced on fungal mats that form under the bark of the oak. The mats produce asexual spores called endoconidia. Endoconidia are barrel-shaped spores that are produced in chains. If compatible mating types are present, these mats will produce sexual spores (ascospores) in fruiting structures. Certain species of sap beetles are attracted to these mats because they smell fruity.

The beetles will visit the mats to feed and breed. This is where they pick up the disease. These same beetles are also attracted to the bleeding sap of wounded oak trees and can then deposit the spores picked up from the fungal mats. This method of transmission is important for introducing the fungus into a new area which it could not have reached by transmission through root grafts.

Of course, transmission via root graft is the most common means of spreading the disease. Trees within as much as 50 feet of a diseased tree can be infected. Oak wilt usually moves from diseased trees to healthy trees through roots that have become interconnected. In this case, spores that have been produced inside the tree travel through the vascular tissue of a tree. Most root grafts form between oaks of the same species. Red oak develops root grafts more commonly than white oaks and grafts between red and white oaks are very rare.

Next week, we’ll focus on treating oak wilt. If you have questions about this disease, please feel free to call us at Austin Tree Service. Our phone number is 512-341-8888.

Why is fall the best time to plant trees in Central Texas?

When is the best time to plant trees in Central Texas? Many of you would say the spring time because you think of new growth and new beginnings. However, that would not be the truth. Experts say fall is the best time to plant trees. Why? Well, trees that get planted in the fall have a head start on establishing roots before the summer sun makes its return.

How is that possible? Well, tree roots grow whenever the temperature is above 40 degrees. In the often mild winters of Central Texas, this gives the roots time to grow before they have to deal with the strength of the summer. Because the roots have been growing during the fall and winter, trees planted now burst forth with new growth when spring arrives.

Fall is the best time to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs. This gives them ample time to recover from transplanting and proliferate roots before spring growth begins. When you buy trees for your landscape, you want to make sure that they are healthy. Always buy from a reputable dealer. If you need help determining if a nursery is reputable, please call us. We have a good idea about the best nurseries to deal with in the area. You will want to be wary of ‘bargains’. They can turn out to be your biggest headaches. Instead, buy a tree that is meant for your landscape regardless of whether it’s on sale.

Remember that all trees have growing requirements. You should learn about the ones for the trees you want before you buy. You should plan before you plant. Whether you are planting a single tree or an entire landscape, good planning is a worthwhile investment of time that will pay off in greater enjoyment of attractive and useful home grounds and increasing the value of your home. It’s much easier to move trees on paper than it is when they’re in the ground. Be careful not to plant trees in the wrong place. A plan saves on planting mistakes. You can also use us to plant your trees. We can plan for you and plant it for you. Give us a call at 512-341-8888 for more information.

What is Fire Blight?

Fire blight is a systematic, contagious bacterial disease that largely affects fruit trees. The bacteria, which are called, erwinia amylovora, attacks the blossoms in early spring. It then moves up the twigs and branches through the tree’s system. The name ‘fire blight’ comes from the scorched appearance of the infected stems and bark. These areas may appear black, shrunken and cracked. The blossoms will turn brown, wilt and die about 1-2 weeks after infection occurs.

Fire blight may also exhibit an amber-colored ooze, which is heavily covered with bacteria, from the bark of the tree. When spring temperatures begin to climb between 60 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, optimal conditions are created for spreading the disease. The bacteria are brought out of dormancy. Bees, insects, birds, splashing rain and wind can easily spread the bacteria and the resulting fire blight disease.

Fire blight commonly affects apple and pear trees, both the fruit-bearing and ornamental types. It can also affect quince trees and other members of the Rosaceae family which includes some rose varieties and raspberry plants.

How do you manage fire blight in affected fruit trees?

Well, any excessive amount of new growth on your tree is easily susceptible to fire blight infection. To avoid this susceptibility to fire blight in your trees, you should use a low-nitrogen fertilizer during the growing season. You will preferably stop before the month of July. You should also only fertilize when it’s necessary. A soil test will help you determine whether or not your soil needs a fertilizer application. Fertilizers, as a rule, should only be used to supplement nutrients in soils that are lacking them.

When fall rolls around, you’ll want to do a thorough cleanup around your trees. Collect all pruning debris, mummified fruit and fallen leaves. You’ll want to move them away from your trees and destroy them. These should not be composted. Why? This will prevent the bacteria from overwintering in the debris and spreading.

You should always remove blighted wood from infected trees and shrubs. This will help keep the disease from spreading. You will want to prune off all infected branches to at least 8 inches below the blighted area. Some experts recommend you do this to 12 inches below the blighted areas. If you have questions, please feel free to call us at 512-341-8888. We can take care of the pruning process for you. You will then want to burn and destroy the affected branches.

Be sure to remove tree suckers and water sprouts during any season. This growth is fast-growing and tender so it is vulnerable to infection. There are also chemical treatments for fire blight if you want to investigate them.

Remember that there’s no single practice that will ensure complete control of fire blight. We’ve given you some suggestions here. Hopefully this piece gives you an understanding of fire blight and how to control it if you discover it in your trees.

Famous Trees of Texas – Battle Oaks

In our latest installment of the famous trees of Texas, we are talking about the Battle Oaks. These three live oak trees are a remnant of a once larger grove that was present on the University of Texas when it opened in 1883. The original forty acres were dotted with live oaks before northern troops reached Galveston during the Civil War. The hill of oaks was destroyed to erect fortress and protect the Texas Capitol. Only these three remain.

In 1923, plans emerged to build a new biological laboratories building in the northwest corner of the campus. This would have meant destruction of the University’s oldest live oaks. Students and faculty raised concerns about this action with Dr. William Battle, the chair of the Faculty Building Committee. Among those who wrote to the Battle was Judge Robert Batts, a distinguished jurist and law professor who later became chair of the Board of Regents. His letter was very direct. He told Battle that he’d come down to “Austin with a shotgun” if that’s what was needed to save the oaks. Dr. Battle agreed that the trees should be saved. He took the matter up with the Board of Regents and convinced them to move the building farther east. The oaks were later named for their champion.

The trees are located on 24th Street, which is one block east of Guadalupe in Austin. If you want to visit them, you can. They’re near the Barbara Jordan statue and are a great reminder of Texas history that’s still alive today. At Austin Tree Service, we want to protect all of your trees. Give us a call today at 512-341-8888 for more information. We perform a wide variety of services for your trees.

3 Reasons Homeowners Should Leave Tree Work to the Professionals

Are you a do-it-yourself type of homeowner? You don’t like the idea of outsourcing tree work. It may seem like an unnecessary expense. However, did you know that the costs of tackling tree care on your own can run high? Well, you could face property damage, hospital bills and a ruined landscape, none of which are cheap. The truth is that most homeowners don’t have the necessary tools or know-how to safely handle tree work on their own. Each year, many people get severely injured and even killed attempting to do this work without experienced help.

We think there are three major reasons why you should leave tree work to the professionals. They are, in no order of importance.

  1. Lack of knowledge and training. Safe tree work requires an extensive knowledge of tree physics and biology. This can take years of study and experience to acquire. For example, felling a tree in a controlled manner is not as simple as cutting through the trunk with a chain saw. It requires establishing a drop zone, making precise cuts and sometimes guiding the tree safely to the ground, using ropes as leverage. When a homeowner attempts to do this, they can get severely injured or killed if a tree falls in an unexpected direction. Up-ended root balls are also unpredictable. Severing the trunk of a fallen tree from an up-ended root releases tension to the tree. This tension may be strong enough to pull the stump and the root ball back into the hole, trapping anyone or anything nearby beneath it. Other hazards may be invisible to the untrained eye like rotten trunks and limbs, pest and fungal infestations and other diseases and defects that can only be treated by an experienced tree care provider.
  2. Poor situational awareness. Even homeowners who know their way around trees may still fall victim to nearby hazards. Electrical wires are a common situational hazard when doing tree work. Many trees grow near power lines and have their branches, leaves and limbs entangled in live wires. Each year, lots of people are injured or killed when they come into contact with an energized line, either directly or indirectly. Navigating this hazard is tricky, even for professionals, and should not be attempted by homeowners under any circumstance. Attempting do-it-yourself tree work is bad enough in and of itself, but some homeowners go a step further and try to finish the job alone. This further impairs situational awareness. If you try and do all the work yourself, you are putting yourself in unnecessary danger. If you insist upon doing tree work without a professional tree service like Austin Tree Service, we must insist that you have at least one other person working with you. Even our professional tree care providers work in teams.
  3. Improper use of tools. Homeowners often use incorrect, faulty or complicated tools when attempting do-it-yourself tree care. These may hurt themselves and others while attempting tree work. For example, chain saws are incredibly dangerous and easy to misuse. A common mistake is to use a dull chain saw. This forces the operator to use excess pressure, causing them to lose control of the situation and the tool. Many homeowners also use the chainsaw to cut branches on the ground. This can result in kickback and painful injuries when the bar tip hits the dirt or other foliage. Misused ladders are another source of injury. Using a ladder that is too short, set on unstable ground or supported by a faulty limb can easily result in a fall from the tree. Ladders can be sometimes knocked out by the same limb that you just cut. In general, tree work requires tools that the average homeowner doesn’t have like stump grinders, wood chips and aerial lifts.

Knowing how dangerous tree work can be, don’t you want to reconsider doing it yourself? We, at Austin Tree Service have the experience and tools to take care of your trees, no matter what the problem. Give us a call today at 512-341-8888 for more information.

 

 

Proper Tree Planting Techniques

The tree you just purchased is a lifetime investment. How well it grows depends largely on the type of tree you got and where you put it. In this article, we’re going to focus on proper tree planting techniques so if you do decide to do it yourself, you’re doing it the right way. We care about your trees.

The ideal time to plant a tree is during the dormant season, or winter. Basically, you can plant a tree in late fall through early spring. Weather conditions are usually cool and allow plants to establish new roots in the location before spring rain and summer heat stimulate new top growth. Of course, trees that are well cared for in the nursery or garden center can essentially be planted whenever. If you have questions, we suggest you call us at 512-341-8888. We are experts at tree planting.

So, what are the steps to proper tree planting? Let’s find out.

  1. Dig a shallow, broad planting hole. Make the hole wide, about three times the diameter of the root ball. However, you should only make the hole as deep as the root ball. It is important to make the hole wide so that roots can grow in the soil. This is especially important if your soil is compacted or otherwise unhealthy.
  2. Identify the trunk flare. The trunk flare is where the roots spread at the base of the tree. This point should be partially visible after the tree has been planted. If it’s not, then you should remove some soil from the top of the root ball. Make sure you find the trunk flare so you can plant your tree properly.
  3. Place the tree at its proper height. Before placing the tree in the hole, make sure that you’ve dug the hole to the proper depth but not more than that. The majority of roots on a newly planted tree will develop in the top 12 inches of soil. If the tree is planted too deeply, new roots will have difficulty developing due to a lack of oxygen. To avoid damage when setting the tree in the hole, always lift the tree by the root ball and not the trunk.
  4. Straighten the tree in the hole. For proper tree planting, you should have someone view the tree from several different directions to ensure that the tree is straight. You don’t want to plant a slanted or crooked tree. Do this before you begin backfilling because, after that point, it’s difficult to move the tree.
  5. Fill the hole gently but firmly. Fill the hole about one-third full and gently but firmly pack the soil around the base of the root ball. If the tree is balled and burlapped, cut and remove the string and wire from around the trunk and the top third of the root ball. Be careful not to damage the roots in the process. Fill in the remained of the hole, taking care to firmly pack soil to eliminate air pockets that can cause roots to dry out. To avoid this, you can add the soil a few inches at a time and settle it with water. You should continue this process until the hole is filled and the tree is firmly planted. Do not apply fertilizer at the time of planting. It’s not necessary.
  6. Stake the tree, if necessary. If the tree is grown and properly dug at the nursery, staking for support should not be necessary. In fact, studies show that trees that are NOT staked establish more quickly and develop stronger trunk and root systems. However, protective staking may be necessary on sites where lawn mower damage, vandalism or windy conditions are problems. If you need to stake the tree, use two stakes in conjunction with a wide, flexible tie material that will hold the tree upright, provide flexibility and limit injury to the trunk. After the first year of growth, you can remove the staking.
  7. Mulch the base of the tree. Mulch is organic matter that you apply to the area at the base of the tree. It acts as a sort of blanket to protect the tree by holding moisture, moderating soil temperatures extremes both hot and cold, and reduces competition from grass and weeds. Some good choices for mulch are leaf litter, pine straw, shredded bark, peat moss or wood chips. A 2-to-4 inch layer is ideal. More than 4 inches can cause a problem with oxygen and moisture levels. When you put the mulch down, make sure that the base isn’t covered. Doing so can cause decay of the living bark at the base of the tree. A mulch-free area, about 1 to 2 inches wide at the base of the tree, is sufficient to avoid most bark conditions and prevent decay.
  8. Provide follow-up care. Keep your soil moist but not soaked. Why? Overwatering can cause your leaves to turn yellow or fall off. Give your new tree the equivalent of an inch of rain per week. If you receive an inch of rain in a given week, you needn’t water the tree. More frequent waterings should be conducted during extreme heat. Continue the watering process until mid-fall, tapering off for lower temperatures. Other follow-up care may include pruning your branches that were damaged during the planting process. Prune sparing immediately after planting and wait to do corrective pruning until after a full season of growth in the new location.

We hope these proper planting techniques will help you plant your trees properly. If you have any questions or want an expert to plant your trees, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Austin Tree Service is here for you.

Top Trees to Plant under Utility Wires

Planting trees under utility wires can be difficult. In this blog post, we’ll give you some ideas as to which trees are good to plant under utility wires. They may not all be the best trees for Central Texas, so you’ll want to consult with a professional like us before attempting to plant these trees anywhere.

Amur maple

The Amur maple is an excellent small tree because of its form, foliage and fall colors. It’s a cold-hardy maple (so, it might not be right for Central Texas). It is also very adaptable. In its summer form, it has red samaras, or seed capsules. The tree is easy to grow, and its mature height will never interfere with utility lines. It has great character and appeal in any garden. Its attractiveness will distract from any utility lines.

Apple serviceberry

This is a beautiful tree with emerging leaves being a purplish color. The best of its cultivars is called Autumn Brilliance. It’s kind of a showy tree with an attractive form, foliage, and bark with good fall color. It’s a very attractive small tree with multiple seasons of interest. The better your soil is, the better the tree’s performance is. It’s best not to plant this tree directly under utility lines. Rather, you want to plant it 6-10 feet out from utility lines so as to avoid future pruning challenges.

Redbud

This is the “Oklahoma redbud.” Another version of the redbud, called the Eastern redbud, is also good to plant under utility wires, but it can be a pretty high maintenance tree. The Oklahoma redbud has deep purple flowers and lustrous shining leaves. It’s less susceptible to leaf rollers due to the leaf structure and surface texture. The waxy cuticle covering the leaf also helps prevent leaf spot disease, which can occur in other types of redbuds. This tree needs supplemental watering during periods of high heat and responds well to summer wind protection.

Kousa dogwood

Also known as the “Chinese dogwood”, this is a very attractive tree when in flower and during the fall and winter when the form of it adds interest. Chinese, or kousa, dogwood is the Rolls Royce of dogwood trees. It has lovely spring blooms, tiers of horizontal branches, fall foliage, and fruit. Its winter silhouette makes sure that you get four seasons of beauty with this tree. Again, please don’t plant this tree directly under the utility lines, but rather 6-10 feet out from them.

American soil tree

The American soil tree is a great tree for limestone soils. The rich blue-green, oval leaves turn a magnificent yellow, orange, red and reddish purple in the fall. The tree can literally take your breath away in the brief autumn period we get in Texas. The tree can grow under a lot of soil conditions – be they acid or alkaline, infertile, rocky or gravelly. This tree is best planted 6-10 feet away from utility lines.

Large-flowered magnolia

All the planting and maintenance rules that apply to the grand old Southern magnolia also apply to this diminutive relative. If you take care of the tree, it will be a beautiful addition to your landscape. It has leaves smaller than the rest of the species and remains more compact with dense foliage until it gets quite old. It’s a prolific bloomer all season so you can enjoy its beauty for a long time. This is the only cultivar of Southern Magnolia that blooms all summer long. If it’s hearty enough for your area, then you’ll have one gem of a tree.

There are more trees that are wonderful to plant under utility lines. If you have questions, please give us a call. Remember, we have tree planting services and are very happy to help you at any time.

 

Famous Trees of Texas – Burges Oak

 “When I am forever from this life,
Erect no marble shaft for me,
But plant, somewhere upon a dusty road
An acorn in my memory.”

This is the first stanza of a poem that’s attributed to Richard F. Burges, a WWI army officer, attorney, advocate and state legislator from El Paso. In 1915, Burges, a tree advocate, bought a sapling live oak from California. He planted it in his backyard. He did this against the common wisdom of the day which said that oak trees could not survive the harsh desert climate of El Paso.

Also in 1915, Burges, who was a state legislator, introduced a bill to create a new agency to govern and nurture the forests of Texas. With the support of forestry advocates such as W. Goodrich Jones, the bill passed and was made into law. Thus, the Texas Forest Service was created and it’s still in operation today.

With the same commitment Mr. Burges gave to all his causes, he nurtured his live oak to maturity. El Paso residents saw what he did and followed suit. Pretty soon, live oaks were thriving throughout the community. The Burges Oak still stands and remains a living testament to the tenacity of live oaks and the early residents of Texas.

We thank folks like Mr. Burges for believing in trees and working to improve their care throughout our state. He was an active advocate for trees and proved many people wrong. We, at Austin Tree, admire his spirit and encourage you, if you’re ever in El Paso, to go visit the Burges Oak or just enjoy the live oak trees lining the streets. You can thank Mr. Burges for his tenacity and diligence. We hope to carry on his spirit by caring for Texas trees as he would have done. We are happy to take care of your trees. Give us a call at 512-341-8888 today. We are happy to help you.