Oak Trees in Atlanta

What to Know About Oak Trees In Atlanta

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Imagine, for a moment, it’s a hot summer day. You’re sipping on a glass of lemonade, fanning yourself in the shade of a tree. More than likely the kind of tree you’re imagining is an oak tree. Several kinds of oaks are indigenous to Georgia and North America contains approximately 90 different species. 

The oak is one of the most prevalent tree types in all of Metro Atlanta. As such, Atlanta United Tree Service is extremely familiar with them. Keep reading to find out more about oak trees in Atlanta!

What Exactly Are Oak Trees?

Oaks are the most prevalent form of tree in Atlanta according to treeatlanta.org’s Tree Inventory. There are two primary types of oak. White Oak generally features leaves with rounded lobes. Some notable species in the White Oak category include White Oak, Swamp White Oak, and Bur Oak. 

The other primary category of oak is Red Oak, which generally feature sharply pointed lobes on their leaves. Some examples of this include Red Oak, Black Oak, and Scarlet Oak. 

Maybe the most distinct feature of oaks are the acorns. The different sizes and texture of acorn are some of the easiest and clearest ways to delineate oak species.

What Are Some Common Issues Oak Trees Face?

Hypoxylon canker is a white-rot fungal disease that post oak, water oak, southern red oak, and white oak are particularly susceptible to. Drought, root injury, and soil grade changes can all serve to exacerbate the initial infection. The first noticeable symptom is often the dying back of the crown of the tree. Next, the outer bark may fall off when infected. The bark loss will reveal the brownish fungus on the limbs and trunk. If untreated, this fungus can cause new infections on other trees, spread through rain splashes or via insect cross pollination.

Oak Leaf Blister is a disease most oaks can get, but black and red oaks get more acutely. Blister-like light green patches will appear on the leaves that will later turn brown-ish. The fungus that causes the disease will spread in the spring and infect the leaves, disperses the spores in the fall, then goes dormant and survives the winter as in leaf buds. The infected leaf tissue grows much faster than uninfected tissue, resulting in distorted blisters.

Oakworms are moths that feed on the leaves of oak trees when they’re in their larval stage as caterpillars. When they hatch and feed in groups, they’ll eat all the leaf blades available. Healthy trees can generally deal with an oakworm’s feeding, but a swarm of oakworms can easily eat all the leaves off of an oak tree. As a result, a younger and more mature trees might be in serious danger of sunscald damage. 

Phytophthora ramorum is a pathogen that causes the disease “Sudden Oak Death.” Some symptoms include foliage death and bleeding cankers on the tree’s trunk. Sudden Oak Death can cause an oak’s death in a matter of weeks. If you think it’s even possible one of your trees has this, you need to call Atlanta United Tree Service now. We’ll have a certified arborist out in quick order to try and make sure this disease doesn’t spread to the rest of your trees.

What Are Some Notable Atlanta Oaks?

The Cherry Bark Oak at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Home – When taking into account height, trunk diameter, and crown spread, The Cherry Bark Oak is the largest tree in Atlanta. The home of this 250 plus year old tree is a hospice center for terminally ill patients. The building itself was built around the tree, providing peace and solace to residents who would view the tree from their windows.

The White Oak at Connally Nature Park – The largest White Oak in the Perimeter as avoided many close calls, most recently in 2002 when it was nearly removed to accommodate building an elementary school. A feature of East Point’s 27-acre Connally Nature Park, this White Oak was planted in the 1800’s, along with several others populating the area.

The Paideia School Storytelling Tree – This century old tree is made remarkable by the love shown to it by generations of students at one of Atlanta’s best schools. Standing in Dellwood Park off Ponce de Leon, years of second and third graders were taken out by their teachers to read stories, write journal entries, and make rubbings of the bark. The roots stand out of the ground and make for great seating. 

The Oak – America’s Favorite Tree

Oaks have played an important role in forest ecosystems throughout North America and metro Atlanta. They’re attractive, mature quickly, and provide shade during the hot Georgia summers. Make sure they’re tended to. 

If you’re worried your oak tree might have a disease or if it just needs an annual pruning, call Atlanta United Tree Service now. We’re at the ready, 24/7.

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