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No Yellow Ribbons For Our Missing White Oak Trees?

One third of the world's Oak tree species are going extinct, Let's save them!


No Yellow Ribbons For Our Missing White Oak Trees?

So, the song goes, ” Tie a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree. It’s been three long years do you still want me?” Recorded in 1973 by the musical group Tony Orlando and Dawn. Many people thought the song was about a man returning home from prison, wondering if his sweetheart had waited for him. That is incorrect. It is written on the premise of a man returning home from being a prisoner of war. He has written a letter to his sweetheart, inquiring if she’d wait for his return. Oak like the returning soldiers faith in humanity is truly renewable if sourced from a well-managed and sustainable forest. Oak has low levels of embodied energy, i.e. to manufacture and transport it.


Now the war is about saving the Oak tree the ribbon was supposedly tied to. Invasive pests, climate change droughts, fire suppression, and soil compaction from human activities are among the primary factors influencing oak decline around the globe in recent years. of the 340 species 114 are on the endangered list and expected to be extinct within our lifetime. Most telling is the decline of the American White Oak. Younger white oak trees and seedlings are significantly declining. Without action, American white oak forests will disappear in a generation with significant impacts on wildlife, forest ecosystems and timber supplies. More than 99% of white oak seedlings die before reaching five years old, a problem that researchers call the “oak bottleneck.


Foresters agree climate change has played a role in the rapid decline of white oaks, with drought making the trees more vulnerable to disease or pests. The Amana trees also were hit by the Aug. 10, 2020, derecho. Drought stress can make leaves wilt and turn yellow or brown. Here are some other symptoms of drought stress. Borer insects, like the two-lined chestnut borer, make leaves turn brown, wilt and eventually fall off. Root rot causes browning, starting at the top of the tree.


Oak Wilt is a fungal disease on the rise due to increased flooding due to extreme weather events, that is killing oak trees throughout the mid-west and into pockets of Texas and the southeast. The fungus grows in the vascular system of trees, cutting off the supply of water and nutrients, causing leaf discoloration, wilt, leaf drop and eventually death. The state of California has put most species of oak on their protected species list. Oak trees and the environment around them are one of the state's most diverse and important habitats, hosting more than 160 species of birds and 2,000 varieties of plants. The rolling hills and colors of oaks woodlands also make up one of California's most beautiful and iconic landscapes. Sudden Oak Death (SOD) has killed millions of tanoak, coast live oak, California black oak, and other native tree species.


(SOD) is a tree disease that was first detected in the San Francisco Bay area in the mid-1990s and then in Curry County, Oregon and Santa Cruz County, California in 2001. Since the first detections, the disease has been found in an additional 15 counties in California. Global trends in tree mortality over the past two decades have been linked to increasingly dry and hot climatic conditions. These conditions also make trees more vulnerable to attacks by diseases such as Sudden Oak Death. If you have an oak tree in your community struggling to survive you can do a lot to save this plant with an average lifespan of 300 years! Avoid removing smaller trees as much as possible, and certainly avoid removing the largest, oldest trees. Strive for a good diversity of native oak species. Plant grasses and shrubs around trees that mimic the diversity and structure of a natural oak woodland plant community.


If you live in an area that is experiencing a drought, it is important to water your oak tree deeply and slowly. This will help the roots to absorb as much water as possible. Be sure to check the soil before watering to make sure it is dry. Now that you know all about how to water oak trees, you can be sure to give it the right amount of water at the right time to keep it healthy and happy. Just remember to check the soil before watering and only water as needed. Your oak tree will thank you for it!



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