Example of Oak Canker InfectionWe need more healthy trees for Houston - and this is definitely not one of them.

This photo (courtesy of Texas A&M University) is of an oak tree infected with Hypoxylon Canker, a fungus which has been showing up in East Texas.  There is no cure for the disease, which manifests in stressed-out trees.  Proper feeding and watering are the only hope.  Be warned -- if more than fifteen percent of the crown dies off, the entire tree must be destroyed.

Trees are important to us here in West University Place.  We love our green, shady streets and yards.  And our City keeps an Urban Forester on staff to keep it that way.

Just recently, one of my West U customers was forced to cut down a Hypoxylon-infected tree.  Craig Koehl, West U’s Urban Forester, confirmed the disease.

Unlike urban environments, forests are naturally diverse biological communities.  But when we homeowners plant a mono-culture of Live Oaks, our trees are more prone to diseases like this oak canker.

Rather than planting another susceptible Live Oak, Craig suggested choosing from among the following Completely Resistant trees:

  • Cedar Elm
  • Winged Elm
  • Mexican Sycamore
  • Bald Cypress
  • Monterrey Cypress
  • Drummond Red Maple
  • Trident Maple

You can also choose from among the following Mostly Resistant trees:

  • Monterrey Oak (Mexican White Oak)
  • Bur Oak
  • Swamp Chestnut Oak

I know that planting a good-sized tree can be a sizable finacial investment, so I recommend checking with Craig before you make your final selection.  Or go to the City of West U’s website at www.westu.org and select “Tree Information”.

Thank you, Craig, for your tips on healthy trees for Houston!

Roger Martin