The Old Oak, September 8, 2016

The Old Oak, September 8, 2016

From the Trustees…

As many of you have noticed, our Oak Tree has suffered greatly from the heat and storms of the last month. Although extensive testing has been conducted over the past few months, the conclusion of our team of experts has been that the soil around the tree has sufficient nutrients for the tree’s needs, and the tree’s leaves (until recently) showed no significant issues which would require intervention. Consequently, our plan has been to continue a watering program for the tree and hope that the tree would maintain at least the level of leaf cover witnessed in the spring.

Toward the end of July, the leaves on the lower branches started to turn brown. Leaf samples were sent to Rutgers for analysis and results came back negative for pathogens or insects. We then authorized Keiling Tree and Historical Tree Care to make a detailed aerial examination of the tree looking for any potential signs of life throughout the tree. The conclusion of this exam- ination is that the “tree has declined to the point where the best hope is for the lower trunk to make sprouts next year.”

It is sad to say that the hope we all had for our Oak tree’s future has not materialized. The events of this summer have overpowered the internal mechanisms that healthy trees utilize to withstand the intense heat of summer. Our best focus now is to insure the safety of the area around the tree. The next stages of care for the tree include pruning dead limbs in the outer portions of the tree while retaining the structure supported by the cabling system stabilizing the main branches. The trustees will be evaluating possible next steps over the next few weeks.