Monday, April 22, 2013

Stress on Coast Live Oaks

 Below are some examples of stress on the Coast Live Oaks (Quercus agrifolia) this spring.  Most of the leaves on the oaks below have been defoliated by oak worm larvae.  The last photo shows how much these worms can eat. It has been a difficult spring on the live oaks with warm temperatures and record drought.  The trees responded by pushing a lot of energy into flowering, which is unfortunately messy and bad on allergies.

Luckily, these oaks are very resilient to oak worm and can survive multiple defoliations.  It will be interesting to watch how the trees respond as the worms' big spring push comes to an end.

(Click photos to enlarge)

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