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Jane’s Gardening Journal: Hope for our ailing oaks

In this article with Forest Hills Connection, Shawn Siefers, a sales arborist with The Care of Trees Gaithersburg office, helps a homeowner diagnose and treat her ailing oak tree.  

Posted: Nov. 22, 2016

By Jane Solomon

A tiny beetle has been quietly wreaking havoc on oak trees in the DC area. The twolined chestnut borer is a native beetle named after its traditional host, the American chestnut tree. Since the chestnut was driven to near extinction by the chestnut blight (which was a fungus) in the early 20th century, the chestnut borer turned its attention primarily to oaks.

Left unchecked, they’ll kill the tree in two to three years. However, if caught early, there is an effective insecticide.

We’re fortunate to have three magnificent white oak trees on our property which have always been in robust health. So it surprised me when last summer we noticed significant dieback in some of the upper branches of one of them. Shawn Siefers, my arborist from The Care of Trees, examined it and treated it for a range of possible culprits, but the tree offered no obvious clues to the cause.

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