White Oak Tree – Leaves Are Turning Brown

Q: We have a large white oak tree in our back yard. This week we noticed all the leaves are turning brown, top to bottom. Any idea what is causing this? 

A: This has been a terrible summer for white oak and red oak trees. Oaks are very sensitive to having their roots become dry and that is probably what happened to your tree last fall. The initial damage might even have been done in the drought several years ago. It is not likely the tree will recover after losing all of its leaves but you’re welcome to wait until next spring and see what happens. If you don’t see many green leaves by May, the tree will have to come down.