oaktree fall 2015For the past 34 years Certified Tree Expert David Welch has been working alongside the Trustees guiding the care of our oak tree. He has seen the tree through many stages of brilliance and illness! You might remember the summer of the great drought when arrangements were made for the fire department to water the thirsty tree from their truck, or the year the new patio was built and David stood guard to insure all cement was mixed offsite so cement dust would not compromise the soil, and how faithfully we prohibit the use of any harmful chemicals in that entire area. For all involved, a labor of love.

Recently the tree suffered the loss of a significant limb. The limb suffered from severe dry rot near the trunk which had been on-going from the top down for many years and had progressed to a point where the limb could no longer be supported.  David assured the Trustees that the limb failure had nothing to do with the current state of decline that we see in the tree. He conducted a thorough hazard inspection and has concluded that there is no immediate concern of any reoccurrence of a major limb falling.

Last month David made a presentation to the Trustees regarding the decline in the health of the tree that we have all noticed this year. He reported that the current condition is most likely due to a sudden change in the soil acidity. In the spring a prescription he wrote for chemical treatments to help remedy the situation and stimulate root activity was applied. The tree will be closely monitored this fall and winter. Soil samples will be taken again in the spring, and any necessary action will be taken at that time. David strongly believes that the oak tree will weather the current situation. We should all look so good at 600+ years old!

David said a sign that the tree is responding to treatment and on the way back to health will be if we see all the leaves are shed by the Thanksgiving weekend. This might be the first time anyone is looking forward to raking leaves!