If you have a majestic oak tree in your yard, protecting it is probably a priority for you. Unfortunately, your oak is vulnerable to certain diseases, including root rot. Your beautiful oak tree can actually die from this blight. As a property owner, you need to be able to recognize the condition and call for help if necessary.


You need to check all your trees routinely for signs of disease. One of the more common types of root rot, armillaria mellea, causes fungus to spread near the ground. This fungal infestation eventually penetrates into the tree, making the wood "spongy" and causes the root system to be unable to support the tree's weight. Gamoderma root rot tends to occur in moist soil and attacks trees that are already weakened. Your tree may have yellow leaves and dying branches. You will also find reddish fungus plates about 14 inches from the base of your tree. 


Experts will tell you that prevention is the key to healthy oak trees. Damaged trees are more likely to get root rot, so make certain to have broken or rotting branches removed promptly. You should also mulch your trees regularly, water them in dry seasons, and properly fertilize them. If you notice any problems with your oaks, call an arborist.


For smaller plants and trees, an arborist, such as at ISA Texas Chapter, may be able to remove the rotting roots and even uproot and replant the tree. Obviously, this is not an option for full grown oaks. In many instances, cutting down the diseased tree may be the only option to keep the tree from toppling over on your home or on the neighbors'. Removing the tree may also prevent the spread of the disease to your other trees. However, you do need the advice of a specialist before you take any action. Oak trees are too beautiful of a natural resource to lose unnecessarily. 

Root rot is a scourge for tree lovers, and once it takes hold in your beautiful oaks, you may lose them. You can best protect your trees from root rot simply by taking good care of them. Proper mulching and fertilizing can keep them healthy and less likely to develop any disease, in particularly root rot. Never hesitate to consult with a qualified arborist for help with your trees. After all, some of your trees may be hundreds of years old and well worth preserving.